The Musician Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) has postponed its elections slated for Wednesday, January 12, 2022.
In a press release signed by the Chairman of the National Election Committee, Peter Marfo, the Union stated that the decision to postpone the elections was occasioned by a number of factors.
“After extensive consultations with the Electoral Commission of Ghana, the elections of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) slated for Wednesday 12th January 2022, has been postponed.”
“A new date will be communicated to the membership of the Union for the National and Regional elections which will take place on the same day nationwide,” parts of the statement read.
Meanwhile, contesting for President of the Union are; Mr. Bessa Simons (Acting MUSIGA President), Madam Deborah Freeman (General Secretary of MUSIGA), and Ras Caleb Appiah Levi (Greater Accra Regional Chairman for MUSIGA).
MUSIGA has not had an elected president since musician cum politician, Bice Osei Kuffour, popularly known as Obour, vacated the seat at the end of his tenure in September 2019.
The first Vice President at the time, Bessa Simons was then appointed as Acting President by the Union’s National Executive Council (NEC).
Prior to the end of Obour’s tenure, the Union was expected to hold an election to elect a new president. However, the elections scheduled for June 26 was postponed to July 10, 2019.
According to the chairman of the committee, Smart Nkansah, the decision was based on the feedback the committee received from the initial release of the voters register for the elections.
He indicated that the Electoral Commission of Ghana (ECG) which would supervise the elections is engaged with the limited registration of voters for the national elections for 2020.
But on July 10, 2019, a presidential aspirant placed an injunction on the national elections of the union which was scheduled to take place on July 10, 2019.
Ras Caleb Appiah-Levi, who sought for the injunction through the High Court, in the writ of summons, prayed the court for a declaration that the current voter roll compiled by the Election Committee of MUSIGA is not credible and the same cannot, in its flawed state, be used for the conduct of the forthcoming elections and also wants the Election Committee to “compile a fresh, authentic and credible register.”
“This is a national election and we should have a register for each region, however, the Electoral Commission presented us with one album which also has some names missing,” he told Andy Dosty on Daybreak Hitz.
Appiah-Levi added the current scheme of elections allows members to vote in any part of the country regardless of where they registered. This he explained can cause multiple voting and rigging.
“This is national voting and you have employed the help of the EC hence you should be able to follow the country’s style of voting,” Mr Appiah-Levi explained.
This case saw the Union go in and out of court. MUSIGA was unable to hold the elections as intended, hence Bessa Simons took the role as Acting President while they addressed the issues at hand. Covid-19 among other things also pushed the presidential elections forward.
In May 2021, Ras Caleb revealed that MUSIGA was expected to dissolve its Election Committee and set up a new one as part of its plans to hold the long-awaited elections.
Presidential aspirant Ras Caleb Appiah-Levi disclosed that the new committee will consist of one person from each region and three National Executive Committee members.
After two years, the Union finally settled on January 12, 2022, to hold national and regional elections for officers to run the organisation.
A presidential debate powered by Joy Entertainment was set up on December 4, for the contestants to convince members why they should be chosen.
Meanwhile, over 104 candidates have been cleared to contest for 77 positions nationwide. Out of the number, 11 are running for the seven positions at the national level.
They are; Bessa Simons, Ras Caleb Appiah-Levi and Deborah Freeman for President; Samuel Kofi Agyemang and Francis Derman Dogbatsey for General Secretary and Rev. Dr. Thomas Yawson for 1st Vice-President.
The rest are; Abena Ruthy for 2nd Vice-President; Edward Edusa Eyison for Treasurer; Nii Adu Chizzy Wailer for Organiser and Gifty Oppong Ghansah for Welfare Officer.
The elections will be supervised by the Electoral Commission of Ghana. Both regional and national elections will take place on the same day in the capitals of the 10 old regions.
The elections are expected to herald the dawn of a new era for MUSIGA.