Former General Assembly representative for Law school, Kabu Nartey has drawn emphasis on why the Students Representative Council (SRC) executive cannot interfere in the work of the Electoral Commission in conducting elections.
His statement is premised on the recent incident at the University of Ghana Students Representative Council speakership elections which took place on Sunday, 22nd October 2023; the event had to end abruptly due to some disruptions.
Chaos ensued in the house when the Electoral Commissioner refused to accept a resolution allegedly made by the house, presided over by General Secretary Martha Bruwaa, to sign ballot sheets before conducting the elections.
Speaking on Campus Exclusive, Kabu Nartey explained that these problems are usually based on student leaders not understanding the separation of powers.
“There is nowhere in the constitution that gives the [general] secretary the authority to play an active role in the affairs of the general assembly. The Constitution says that the Electoral Commission is responsible for the conduction of elections.”
“… the general assembly as much as possible is a statutory organ that must be allowed to function and the executive council has its undelegated roles under the Constitution. These organs must respect their roles and whenever it gets to their territory they allow those constitutionally mandated to perform without any impediments,” he said.
Also on Campus Exclusive, Bright Siaw, a former deputy Electoral commissioner opined that the SRC President’s condemnation of the action of the Electoral Commissioner signifies a constructive step towards initiating change provided that the Electoral Commissioner was at fault for the disruption.
He added that the general secretary should come to a consensus with the electoral commission to conduct a free and fair election.
“If the commissioner truly acted in the way he is alleged to have acted, then I think the president took a step in the right direction to condemn his actions.”
” Is the General secretary the one issuing the ballot papers? If she is not then I think signing behind the ballot paper though a good idea is not needed. I understand the power struggle but I think the secretary has to cooperate with the EC to have a smooth election.”
Meanwhile, former general assembly speaker, Rt. Hon. Stephen Awuah Pobi sided with the general secretary’s suggestion to the house, calling it laudable as he believed the step was to ensure transparency in the electoral process.
He referred to precedents in past houses as a reason for the secretary’s decision to have the house agree on signing the ballot sheets before the elections could begin.
Story by: Michelle Lartey | univers.ug.edu.gh