President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says it is a must that the December 2020 election is held to avoid any needless constitutional controversy after the end of his first four year mandate on January 7, next year.
This is because the 1992 Constitution had not made any provision for a postponement of a general election in an election year.
“The Constitution of our Republic makes no provision for the extension of the mandate of the President, who wields power, beyond four years.
To exercise executive power in the Ghanaian state, you must be duly elected by the Ghanaian people.
You must have their freely-expressed consent, President Akufo-Addo explained on Monday night.
“On 7th January, 2021, when my mandate as the current President expires, a duly elected person must be ready to be sworn in as President of the Republic.
"There is no other way, and in order to forestall any needless constitutional controversy, which could throw our nation into jeopardy, we must vote on 7th December 2020.
The same applies to Parliament”, he said.
Addressing the nation on the eve of the start of the New Voters' Registration exercise across the nation at more than 33,000 registration centres.
The President explained that the argument by some people that in the midst of the pandemic, the compilation of the new voters register as well as the conduct of the presidential and parliamentary elections should be put on hold, and scheduled for a later date, at the end of the pandemic would not be possible.
He, therefore, allayed the fears of all Ghanaians in the upcoming elections being preceded by the voter registration exercise amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, saying there was no need to fear.
He explained that despite the pandemic, elections were being properly conducted in many nations across the globe.
“In Asia, we have witnessed the conduct of the successful elections of South Korea in April, at the height of the pandemic in that country.
" In Europe, last week, we have seen those in Poland, and, in our own continent of Africa, both Mali and Malawi have preceded us in organising successful, national elections.
“Surely, it is not beyond Ghana to join these nations in organising a successful general election, even in the midst of the pandemic”.
He said it was, therefore, vitally important, that all eligible voters participated in the registration exercise to be able to vote to choose the President of the nation and the Member of Parliament of their areas.
President Akufo-Addo said he as a champion of democracy, he was not interested in disenfranchising any voter or rigging the December Elections, emphasising that he would abhorred being a president that would emerge from a rigged elections.
“I have no interest in disenfranchising any eligible Ghanaian from registering in tomorrow’s exercise, " he stated.
" Nor am I interested in any improper machinations to win any elections.
“I have spent my life fighting for free democratic institutions in our country and I will continue in that fight for the rest of my life.
"The idea of being a president who emerges from a rigged elections is abhorrent to every fibre of my being.
I want to continue to the president of a Ghanaian people who have given me their free consent, with the blessing of the Almighty".
He, therefore, reminded all Ghanaians that Ghana’s record of a peaceful nation and a shining example for many countries must be kept intact and pledged to ensure that the status quo remained, before, during and after the general election.