The National Executive Council (NEC) of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) has announced that the union will be going to the polls on Tuesday, August 8, 2023.
This is the date proposed by NEC for the national and regional elections after almost four years of court injunctions, postponements and internal rifts.
In a press release issued by the Acting President of the Union, Bessa Simons, the NEC in an emergency meeting to review the roadmap proposed by the election committee, ratified the roadmap proposed by the election committee.
The Election Committee is chaired by Peter Marfo, the outgoing Eastern Regional Chairman of MUSIGA.
“According to the roadmap, the voters register has been opened from March 20 to April 3, 2023. This is to allow members to check their status and eligibility. Thereafter, the new voters’ register for the election will be compiled from April 4 to April 18, 2023,” Bessa announced in the press release.
This will be followed by the exhibition of the new voter register from April 20 to April 23, 2023.
Contestants will then have the period before Tuesday, August 8, 2023, to run their campaigns for the elections to take place nationwide.
The NEC members believe that holding the elections will pave the way for the newly elected leaders to organize the biennial conference to work on the Union’s constitution, among other issues.
MUSIGA has had its elections postponed umpteenth times since 2019 when Bice ‘Obour’ Osei Kuffour finished with his tenure in office as the President of the union.
The elections which were earlier scheduled for June 26, 2019, were later rescheduled by the National Elections Committee to July 10, 2019.
According to the chairman of the committee at the time, Smart Nkansah, the decision was based on the feedback the committee received from the initial release of the voters register for the elections.
There had been concerns that the voters’ register had not been updated and there were some irregularities in the names of the voters.
The Chairman indicated that the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) which would supervise the elections was also engaged with the limited voter registration exercise.
Ras Caleb Appiah, the Chairman for the Greater Accra MUSIGA, actually took the Union to court in 2019 for running an election that had anomalies in the voter’s register and operated under rules in contravention of their constitution.
In the wake of the protracted misunderstanding, Bessa Simons who was the 1st Vice-President was made to act as the President until a new election was held.
The elections was later scheduled for January 13, 2022 but got postponed again to February 23, 2022 to enable enough preparations for the elections of new executives to lead the association for the next four years.
Later in the year, Bessa Simons said that the voter’s register was ready and that they were just waiting for the National Elections Committee to set a date for the elections.
“We have the monies to do it. We’ve gone to the Electoral Commission, they have given us the budget, we are ready to pay them. The only thing left now is for the Election Committee to set a date. They are meeting on Tuesday and I am hopeful that they will come up with a date. MUSIGA will have its elections and whoever wins MUSIGA will move forward,” he said.
That notwithstanding, the elections were not held.
Contesting for Presidency Bessa Simons (Acting MUSIGA President), Deborah Freeman (General Secretary of MUSIGA), and Ras Caleb Appiah Levi (Greater Accra Regional Chairman for MUSIGA).