Ghana, Politics

Every right comes with a responsibility’ – EC urges electorates to go to polling stations with facemasks

The Electoral Commission (EC) has reiterated calls for electorates to go to their various polling stations on Monday, December 7 in their face masks and observe all the Covid-19 protocols.

This comes after a legal practitioner, Samson Lardy Anyenini called out the Electoral Commission for turning away prospective persons without face masks during the Special Voting exercise.

He described the incident as constitutionally wrong, as there is no law barring qualified Ghanaian voters without face masks from exercising their franchise.

However, Director of Electoral Services for EC, Dr Serebour Quaicoe in an interview on Joy FM’s special coverage of the electoral process said, wearing face masks is a constitutional requirement.

He, therefore, insisted that although the act is not stipulated in the Executive Instrument of the 2020 electoral process, the law clearly states that citizenry must always step out in a mask.

“The law is not discriminatory against the levels of income, the law states that when you are stepping out be in a mask. And also there are places that when you go, they say ‘no mask, no entry’, and the polling station is one of those places.

“So it is not now that we are going to justify that someone cannot afford a mask or whatever. Then, in that case, we should change the law. But so far as the law says we should all be in our masks, that is what the EC will abide by,” he said.

The Electoral Service Director further noted that the wearing of a face mask is a responsibility that citizens must take seriously while exercising their constitutional right.

“We should all know that rights go with responsibilities. So where your rights end that is where someone else’s right starts. You are supposed to protect yourself and protect me [by wearing a face mask].

“So if you have the right to vote, you must exercise that right responsibly and that includes wearing of face masks and abiding by the Covid-19 protocols at polling stations,” he said.

Source: Ama Cromwell