EC Proposes New Election Date; Advocates for Designating Election Day as National Holiday

The chairperson of Ghana’s Electoral Commission (EC), Madam Jean Mensah, has put forth a proposal to shift the presidential and parliamentary elections from December 7 to November 7. This proposition was made during the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting held on Monday, January 22, 2024.

In addition to suggesting a change in the election date, the EC proposed that the election day be officially designated as a national holiday. The commission underscored that declaring the election day a national holiday could foster increased citizen engagement and contribute to the cultivation of a more robust democratic culture in the nation.

The initiative to alter the election date gained momentum when the Seventh-day Adventist Church submitted a petition to the Electoral Commission and the Attorney General. In their petition, the church highlighted that the existing election date, falling on a Saturday, conflicts with the Sabbath—a day dedicated to worshiping God according to their beliefs.

The proposal by the EC, if adopted, would not only impact the scheduling of the elections but also has the potential to transform the significance of election day by recognizing it as a national holiday. This move aligns with the commission’s objective of encouraging broader civic participation and strengthening democratic values among the Ghanaian populace.

The recommendation is now open for further discussion and consideration within the electoral landscape, with stakeholders weighing the potential benefits of the proposed changes against any logistical or operational challenges that may arise. The EC’s proposal marks a notable development in the ongoing efforts to enhance the electoral process and civic engagement in Ghana.