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The date for 2012 elections!

The date for 2012 elections!

The Chairperson of the National Electoral Commission (NEC), Dr Christiana Thorpe has just announced the date for the much talked about, much anticipated elections in 2012 – November 17th.

The announcement came amidst widespread speculation regarding the successful conduct of the elections. The sudden announcement will now bring to rest some of the wild but unfounded speculations that had created a whole lot of tension in the build up to the elections.

But one question remains, that is, why has NEC declared the date one year before the elections?

We could only suggest that NEC is fully prepared for this historic exercise, which will involve the conduct of three separate elections – parliamentary, presidential, and local council all in one day, a very hectic moment for the commission.

It will also suggest that within one year NEC would have sorted out all election requirements relating to funding, training of staff, proper voter education, etc.

The elections will be expected to fraud free, possibly avoiding the many electoral malpractices that often characterized past elections.  We have to avoid conflict so that the elections will be free and fair and, above all peaceful, which remains the bottom line in the entire electoral process.

Now that the date has been declared, without leaving room for eventualities, what happens if NEC could not achieve all of its demands?

The apparent confidence of the Chief Electoral Commissioner is very re-assuring however, but if the Chairperson is so certain about coming events concerning the conduct of the 2012 elections, we as a medium have our own reservations, and also the right to expect the unexpected. This is not in any way suggesting that we are predicting some calamity before that date, far from it!

We merely want to be guided. In time past, election dates were made public probably after the dissolution of parliament, after which campaigns would go into full gear.  This one is unique, but equally challenging.

We pray that this date will stick and nothing untoward will befall us to give cause for the date to be altered. Let’s pray it doesn’t.

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