EC’s claim of 200,000 multiple registrations in Ashanti strange - NPP

EC’s claim of 200,000 multiple registrations in Ashanti strange - NPP
Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com| Akosua Asiedua Akuffo| Patricia.akuffo@myjoyonline.com
Date: 14-01-2016 Time: 01:01:46:pm
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The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has described the EC’s claim that it has identified 200,000 cases of multiple registrations in the Ashanti Region as ‘strange and impossible’.

Speaking at a press conference today, the Campaign Manager for the party said the Electoral Commission boss, Charlotte Osei’s “disclosure is very strange because at page 23 of the EC’s response to the NPP, it stated that it had identified 150,000 names nationwide”.

For several months, the opposition NPP and some civil society groups have been pushing for a new electoral register.

The EC on December 31, 2015, threw out the NPP’s petition for a new voters’ register after the party formally petitioned the commission. The Commission, among other things, said the arguments for a new voters’ register were unconvincing.

In an interview on Joy News’ analysis programme-Newsfile on January 9th, the EC boss said that Ghana would end up with a “very elitist” voters’ register if the commission gave in to the methods suggested by the New Patriotic Party.

She revealed that the commission had resolved to audit the voters’ register instead of giving in to the demands of the NPP.

But the NPP says it is only asking for the law and the constitution to be obeyed.

“The NPP’s recommendation for a new voters’ register include many of the requirements that have been used in the past to compile voters' register…we find it very strange that the EC boss will claim that our recommendations will lead to the creation of an elitist register,” Mr Manu stated.

On the same show, Charlotte Osei revealed that her outfit had identified over 200,000 multiple registration cases in the Ashanti Regional Voters’ Register alone.

But according to the NPP’s Campaign Manager, Peter Mac Manu, contrary to the EC boss’ statement on Newsfile, the commission had stated in its response to the party that it had identified 150,000 names in multiple registrations, nationwide.

“So how is it possible therefore for the EC to identify as much as 200,000 only in Ashanti when you said the whole Ghana in the letter you wrote to us had 150,000 names identified?” Mr Manu quizzed.

He alleged that the EC’s responses to the NPP on Newsfile indicate “how the EC chair is quick to jump on the NDC propaganda wagon and be leading it.”

“The NPP is of the view that the EC must desist from projecting herself as someone who speaks the same language with the ruling party and rather speak as a neutral and fair manager of Ghana’s electoral process,” Mr Mac Manu stated.

The NPP says it is dissatisfied with the responses from the Electoral Commission and “reiterates its convention that only a new, credible voters’ register will ensure free, fair, credible and accurate election.”

 

Read full statement

                                                        

                       

14th January, 2016

No: NPP00500                                                                                  

 

                  PRESS STATEMENT

 

RESPONSE OF THE NPP TO THE EC ON THE REQUEST FOR A NEW VOTERS’ REGISTER DELIVERED BY PETER MAC MANU AT THE NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS, ASYLUM DOWN

 

Ladies and gentlemen of the media, we thank you for responding in your numbers to our call this morning and would like to take this opportunity to once again wish you a Happy New Year.

As you know, the Electoral Commission has predictably come out to say an emphatic no to the option of compiling a new, credible biometric register of voters for the 2016 general elections. We say predictably because until August last year, the Electoral Commission and the ruling party agreed publicly on one thing, that there was absolutely nothing wrong with the existing electoral roll. Even after the new EC boss took office, it was made clear to Ghanaians, through the EC’s PRO, Mr. Christian Owusu Parry, that, “The Commission’s position remains the same. It has not changed.” Indeed, to the EC the register was “very, very credible and fit to be used for any election in this country.” - See more at: http://www.myjoyonline.com/politics/2015/July-23rd/voter-register-credible-no-need-for-new-register-ec-insists.php#sthash.Dc5a0OhF.dpuf

The EC’s predetermined position was reflected in its decision to put up a timetable of events and actions which had no room for a New Register. It is therefore clear that all the EC has been doing is trying to find reasons to justify its already determined position.

What is interesting, ladies and gentlemen, is that when you read the two reports, both the Electoral Commission and the VCRAC Crabbe Panel have come to agree with the NPP position that the current register is bloated. Not only that, they both agree, the Panel more forcefully than the EC, that the existing procedures in place cannot be relied on to clean up the bloated register. In other words, the EC agrees with the NPP that the current register is incurably flawed and not fit for purpose. Let me point out that the evidence of these admissions can be found in the EC’s own detailed response to the NPP, which is published on its website, and the Panel Report, which we have a copy here. 

To the Commission, the register is bloated for two main reasons: (1) too many dead people on the list; (2) the Voter ID serves as a national ID card for everybody in Ghana, including foreigners, minors and, presumably, fraudsters who need multiple identities to commit fraud.

It is useful at this juncture to make this point: the EC has not been able to challenge any of the statistics we provided to show the register as bloated.

They have used all manner of phrases and excuses to dance around it. When all is said and done, the EC is now saying it agrees with us that, yes, Ghana has a bloated register.  That is the bottom line. However, instead of fixing it, what we are getting from the Commission are excuses upon excuses. For example, the EC wants us to merely accept its assertions that it is not as good as its counterparts in other African countries at cleaning up a bloated register.

Let me quote exactly what the EC says at Page 9 of its response to the NPP:

“The reasons for Ghana’s relatively high score are:

  1. Processes for challenging registration of prospective voters in other jurisdictions are more effective.
  2. The Voter ID card is de-facto national ID card in Ghana, hence the higher numbers due to enhanced demand for it as a means of identification.
  3. The existence of a compulsory national ID system in most comparative countries.
  4. No automatic linkages of voter registration to the Births and Deaths Registry in Ghana, hence a high number of deceased persons still on register.”

Ladies and gentlemen, these are the very words of the Electoral Commission, not ours. In other words, the Commission is saying to Ghanaians that, yes, our register is among the worst in Africa; yes it is bloated. But, so long as we don’t have a proper national ID card in Ghana; so long as we don’t have proper records of the dead, we cannot prevent illegal names from getting on to the electoral roll. It is interesting to note that the NPP used Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya and Tanzania in its analysis on this point. Interestingly, the EC limited its response to only Kenya and even added South Africa, which was not part of the NPPs analysis. We will want to know which reasons the EC provides for countries like Nigeria, which is only now rolling out a National ID system for its populace. And yet, Nigeria’s election management body was able to find an effective method of getting a more credible register without a national ID for its 2015 polls.

To the EC, “the current challenge procedures under CI 72” -- the law on registration -- “are sufficient…” This was the position of the immediate past Chairman of the Electoral Commission when the NPP and other political parties, notably the CPP and PPP, demanded in May 2014 for a forensic audit of the register.  This position, to our disappointment, appears not to have changed much under his successor, EC Chair Charlotte Osei, who still sees the challenge procedure during exhibition as it.

But in fact, in fact, the EC’s own panel of experts dismisses relying on the challenge procedure at the exhibition stage as “not a viable option.” The Panel Report at Page 17 paragraph 7 reads: 

Judging by the sheer numbers, the Electoral Commission’s proposition to display the register, with political parties, the Electoral Commission and citizenry to identify and point out invalid names, is not a viable approach. Particularly, when the persons who identify these records are expected to expend their time, energy and resources not only to provide the evidence but also to testify before a court of competent jurisdiction.

It continues at Page 18: “the system is not effective in achieving the set goals of eliminating invalid records from the register and must be reconsidered. It is said that you cannot do the same thing and expect different results.” Unless, of course, the EC is not keen on getting different results in 2016.

 

STATUS OF VOTERS WHO USED NHIA CARDS AS PROOF OF QUALIFICATION TO REGISTER:

In the “view of the EC”, the “Abu Ramadan ruling cannot be the basis for the creation of a new register.”

For the NPP, the Supreme Court ruling is clear and it will be totally illegal to allow voters whose Citizenship has been called into question by the Highest Court of the land, to remain unquestioned on the Voters’ Register and leave them still eligible to vote in future elections.

The Electoral Commission is ultimately responsible for ensuring the sanctity of our electoral system and ensuring that only eligible voters participate in our elections. For the Electoral Commission to insist on keeping on the Register, voters whose citizenship is in doubt as a result of the Ruling of the Supreme Court, only exposes the intent of the Commission to completely forego its mandate and hide behind all manner of excuses.

We must point out that nowhere in the Supreme Court verdict on the Abu Ramadan case did the Court opine anywhere that it will be fair and proper for all such persons to also be heard prior to invalidation. The Supreme Court made no such claim as the EC wants to force down on us.

The NPP’s view which was stated clearly in our Petition to the EC has been that judging by the fact that many millions of people on the Register used the NHIA card as proof of citizenship, it would be logistically impossible to scrutinize such registrants and judge whether they are indeed eligible to be on the Register or not; and this is one of the reasons we suggested the compilation of a new Register. If the EC thinks that it is logistically possible, they should immediately announce the steps and quickly roll it out. Failure to do this, will only mean the obvious – even though the current Register’s credibility has been questioned by no less a body than the Supreme Court, the EC is determined to keep the it, in order to give a particular political party, an undue and unfair advantage.

It is the responsibility of the EC but no one else to adhere to the Supreme Court decision and purge the register of all such illegal entries before giving those who are eligible to vote another opportunity to now register legally? If this is not the basis for the creation of a new register then the EC should tell us how many people registered with the NHIS cards? How does it intend to identify every single one of the estimated millions of Ghanaians who registered using NHIS cards in 2012? The EC should again tell us, how it intends to inform every single one of them to come forward to take steps to regularise their voting status.

 

INDEPENDENT AUDITING OF BIOMETRIC VOTERS REGISTER:

This again shows how the EC is determined not to be transparent or fair. The EC, together with whoever the NPP does not know, hired a so-called consultant, failed to even disclose the name of this consultant, what his track record is and the nature of the work he had been tasked to do; the NPP like all political parties we know of were kept in the dark and the EC, which in this case could be the compromised Party, hired someone; only for EC to turn around and ask that we take the word of this unknown consultant as it came. How is this possible? Why was the EC determined to hide the consultant and the work he or she did? Why did the EC not allow for observers from the Political Parties to work with and observe the work of the consultant so everyone could have accepted his or her report?

 

We have not yet seen the audit report so we cannot critique what it says. Indeed, whiles the EC Chair was happily announcing to the world that an audit of the BVR has been done, the auditor himself was saying it would take three months to do a proper audit. In his words, when he appeared before the Panel at the EC office on November 17, 2015, Ghana “must find means of addressing  the underlying issues of a bloated register” and that “In Kenya the auditing process was completed within a period of three (3) months and if that is exactly what the EC may consider, it should not wait any longer.” To him the work that he was contracted to do for the EC fell far short of the kind of audit the EC needs.

 

The NPP wishes to serve notice to the EC that we will have difficulties accepting the Consultant’s work as constituting a credible, comprehensive, independent, competent and conclusive audit of Ghana’s biometric voters’ register. What will ordinarily suffice is an open, international tender for a credible NIST (National Institute of Standards & Technology) -certified AFIS info-system auditing expert to undertake this important task and in the presence of technical agents of all the political parties. The EC had no reason to botch this one up, by rushing it behind the backs of stakeholders, if it were genuinely interested in doing a good job.

 

 

COMPROMISED EC DATABASE:

We brought evidence of alleged scanned pictures and double and multiple registrations to show that the EC’s database lacked the necessary integrity. The EC has come out strongly to deny this, with a set of evidence of its own and by relying on the work of its Consultant, which we have already addressed and stated our difficulty with accepting his work and word.

We find the response of the Commission on this finding laughable and still stand by our evidence of, among others, scanned pictures in the EC database and the fact that the database is compromised.

The EC threw the photo evidence we highlighted back at us to presumably stress the extent of our folly. We would not want to spend too much time on this except to throw back at the EC just one set of the fraud and seek further explanation on it.

We picked up these two entries as another example of double registration. The EC came back to say that the two photos actually represent two different people and printed out two sets of fingerprints in support. But, ladies and gentlemen, let us re-examine these two faces properly. The forehead, the eyes, the nose, the lips, the neck and facial expression. What you notice is that the two are clearly of the same person. But, there is a big difference: the person is wearing a different shirt for each pose. These two pictures are on a

PDF soft copy of the 2014 de-duplicated register which the EC supplied to us recently.

Now, let’s look at the information provided. The Voter ID numbers are different.  The Polling Station is the same. Age is the same. Full name is the same. Now, here it is. The Registration Date for both is April 5, 2012, the same day.  Now take a closer look at the time of registration. For the one on the left, it reads 5:15: 35 seconds. For the one on the right it reads, 5:17:54 seconds. Thus, both were registered two minutes apart. In other words the same person was registered twice within two minutes. Now, what is even curious is that the person managed within those two minutes to change shirts!

How on earth was that possible? Was that in the full glare of others who were registering as well or a person who has access to the database did it in the quietude of some IT room? This one example alone supports our case that the integrity of the database has been compromised and can therefore not be trusted. We will be happy to hear the excuse the EC may come up with on this one.

 

76,000 TOGOLESE ON OUR REGISTER:

We are bemused to note the desperate attempt of our EC to create credibility issues for the document used by the NPP without any basis or any attempt to be fair to logic.

First of all, the EC claims it found it curious that even though the NPP claimed that the Register it used was the Register used during the Voters’ Register Exhibition in Togo, the NPP Presented a soft copy to the EC when it requested for it.

This is reminiscent of the theatrics of the EC exposed at the Supreme Court and shows that nothing much has changed at the EC since 2012; that they are desperate to aid the NDC in their propaganda and; that after all, they still have a basic challenge with IT or understanding it.

First of all, the EC should have realised that every hard copy in today’s world was printed from a soft copy. So the fact that a Register is used at an exhibition does not mean there is no soft copy from which that was printed and that the particular document comes in only Hard Copy.

Secondly, the process can also be reversed. Hard copies can easily be transformed into soft copies. This basic knowledge of IT is too elementary that we cannot find a possible explanation for why the EC failed to get it. The only explanation we can give is that the EC was bent on discrediting the NPP in line with the NDC’s propagandist claims on the bombshell dropped by the NPP. It is sad that the EC will reduce itself to joining the propaganda wing of the Ruling Party.

The other thing the EC did to try to raise credibility issues for the NPP’s case was to raise the issue of the NPP not updating the EC on the work it had done on the Togo Register.

We find this attempt puzzling. First of all, it should be recalled that this is not the first time the EC has responded to the issue. The EC Chair, indeed, gave almost the same response to the NPP at the Forum organized to collate views on the matter.

The fact is, whether the NPP found a million or a 1,000 Togolese on the Register, the case was the same, that the Register had been compromised and that there was a need for a new one. It was precisely because of this reasoning that the NPP did not ask for a cleaning of the 76,000 but asked for a compilation of a totally new Register. It is as if the NPP had asked for a cleaning of the 76,000 that a case can be made for working for more names; but the evidence presented and the request made was totally not dependent on magnitude.

As expected, the fundamental reasons for the EC in denying the request on this evidence, has nothing to do with numbers but flawed general principles and understanding of the law – these have nothing to do with magnitude. From the ECs response, the reasons include:

 

  1. That the NPP did not provide any proof of the citizenship status of these persons and did not show any proof that they were not entitled to be registered in Ghana.
  2. That Registration on the register of another country, under the current laws of Ghana, does not take away one’s eligibility to be on the Ghanaian Register.
  1. That Ghana’s Constitution permits dual nationality and admits the possibility of acquiring citizenship through many modes such as naturalization, adoption, and marriage. It would therefore be improper and unconstitutional to simply remove the names of persons on the register on the mere allegation that they appear on the register of another country without giving them the opportunity to provide proof of their citizenship of Ghana.
  2. That Seeking to remove names of persons who appear on the registers of Togo, Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire in our view, would be an arbitrary and discriminatory application of the law. And that would the Commission therefore be required to obtain the registers of all countries of the world and remove the names of persons who appear on such registers as well as Ghana’s?

 

Can the EC tell us which of these reasons could have changed if the NPP had provided it with more persons on both the Togo and Ghana registers?

Now to the reasons:

The EC says, “In examining the identity and status of the 76,000 Togolese alleged to be on Ghana’s register, the EC found that they were all duly registered during the mass registration period in 2012.” It goes on to argue that, “most of the voters were registered in districts in the Volta and Northern Region… [Therefore] our conclusion from this examination is that the voters are duly qualified under the laws of Ghana to be on Ghana’s register.”

We find this statement to be both curious and needlessly bold. First, the EC is saying it knows to be true that all the 76,000 are Togolese. We agree. Then, it goes on to make an unsubstantiated bold claim that all 76,000 are duly certified Ghanaian citizens. We want the EC to come again on this by showing us the methods it used to establish that every one of the 76,000 is a Ghanaian national.

Again, for the EC to say that the NPP did not provide any proof of the citizenship status of these persons is mindboggling. The NPP could not have provided any proof of citizenship status. It is the responsibility of the EC, together with other state bodies, to crosscheck and confirm the citizenship status of these persons who also appear in the Register of Togo. What we expected and what should have been done, was for the EC to have provided the documents and evidence of their citizenship status which they provided before they were registered and evidence/ documents on their dual citizenship in the event that the EC claims they are dual citizens. The EC didn’t provide a single document on a single person, unlike it sought to do on some other issues raised. So why could the EC not go through its database to pull out the proof of citizenship documents submitted by these 76,000 persons before they were registered?

The EC in another point states that Ghana approves of dual citizenship and that it would be improper and unconstitutional to remove names of persons found on Registers of other countries without providing them the opportunity to prove their citizenship. So the simple question is, which opportunity did the EC create for the persons in question to prove their citizenship? Is the EC now choosing a path of assumptions rather than the facts and what is? Why assume they could all be dual citizens (just like the NDC claimed) when you have not been able to provide any documents on their Dual Citizenship or failed to give them an opportunity to proof? What led the EC to this conclusion?

Again, the EC says that removing the names of Togolese Voters on our Register will be discriminatory and arbitrary. This is another unfortunate excuse and perhaps the worst excuse. The EC is mandated to ensure the sanctity of our voters register. How they do that job is entirely for them to determine, if the EC thinks that by deleting names of Togolese on our Register, it has to delete names of Japanese on our Register, that is entirely the decision of the EC and how they go about it is also entirely in their domain as long as it is done fairly and transparently. But this excuse is just like the saying that because the Police is unable to arrest a thief in one part of the country, the Police will be discriminating and acting arbitrarily if they arrest another thief in another part of the country.

Ladies and Gentlemen, is it not strange that despite the insistence of the NDC and the EC that all the 76,000 persons whose identities are found on the Registers of the two countries, are Ghanaians, not a single one of these 76,000 has come forward to challenge the findings and defend their eligibility or say that they are not on the Togo Register?. Not one. Very strange.

It must also be pointed out that the Togolese media extensively published the revelation of the 76,000 Togolese who had found themselves on the Ghana register and no denial whatsoever came from any institution or person in Togo.

Let us say this again, we are exposing these facts not to target any particular group of people. We are only doing so to show how unscrupulous people in institutions of our state, and, we believe, a political party, undermined the sovereignty of the Ghanaian people by introducing ineligible persons on our register to seek to manipulate elections. If we all agree that elections in Ghana are not ECOWAS elections then we must all be active in making sure that only the people of Ghana elect the President of Ghana.

 

EC PANEL CONFIRMS REGISTER AS BLOATED:

As stated earlier, there is now no question that the current register is unacceptably bloated. The Justice VCRAC Crabbe Panel, which the EC itself commissioned, and which included a renowned statistician, in its analyses, compared three key indicators: estimated voter population, registered voters and estimated deceased in voters’ register from 2010 to 2016. Its findings are that the number of names on the voters’ register is unacceptably more than the total estimate of people eligible to register to vote in Ghana.

The Panel Report, using data from both the EC and the Ghana Statistical Service, is of no doubt that both the 2012 register and the current updated register (2014) are bloated and flawed. It makes the case that even if Ghana was able to achieve the statistical improbability of a 100 percent registration of every eligible Ghanaian, the 2012 register should not have exceeded 13,650,237 names. This figure is nearly 14 percent smaller than the voters’ list used in 2012 and does not take into account those who registered illegally using NHIS cards.  Also, this was the register that the EC itself admits now that the AFIS software was not good enough to undertake any meaningful de-duplication in 2012.

The Panel was also unconvinced, among others, on the suggestion that there is no perfect Register and that all registers since 1992 have been bloated, as claimed by Dr. Wereko-Brobbey. The Panel observed that, if true, this rather strengthens the case for looking at the accuracy of the register.

Thus, despite the EC’s strong claims publicly that the Panel rejected the call for a New Register and suggestions that the Panel had Okayed the current Register, the Panel found that the Register was flawed and could not be the basis for any election this year or in the future and suggested various ways for rectifying the situation.

In the words of the Panel Report, “The other element of the bloated register is the situation with the names of the deceased remaining on the register. This, by far, appears to be the most critical both in terms of magnitude and copulative effect, and implications for the creditability of the electoral process.” This is not the NPP talking. This is the Panel put together by the EC.

The report makes the calculation and concludes, “Further analysis of data, based on the reported number registered in 2012 and 2014, shows that as many as 584,892 estimated number of voter deaths would have occurred cumulatively by the 2016 elections and may well remain in the register of voters.” What the Panel did was to isolate, first, the number of the population who are 18 years and above, then, reduce it by the number of foreigners, reduce it further by the estimated number of dead people who were eligible to vote, to come at the total estimate of people eligible to register. Mind you, not even Australia, where voting is compulsory, can boast of 100 percent voter registration.

We agree with the Panel’s view that having nearly 600,000 dead people on the 2016 register “is too wide a margin to entertain.” This constitutes about 4 per cent of the eligible voters on the register, which, again, in the words of the Panel, is “too wide beyond the tolerance limit, given that presidential elections are won by a much narrower margin.” They have expressed concerns that the “human factor”, as they put it, can, for example, lead to multiple ballot papers being given to a single voter by an unscrupulous election officer or results changed on paper either at the polling station or collation centre.

 

CLEANING VERSUS REGISTERING ANEW:

The Panel Report makes it absolutely clear that the EC does not have an effective system to restrain ineligible persons, such as minors, foreigners and fraudsters, from being registered. And even, when these sets of people get on the EC does not have an effective means of getting rid of their names. Again, there is also no effective means of removing the name of dead people, as already admitted by the EC.

The Panel’s findings make a strong case for, what the report terms as “validation”. The Panel proposes that all eligible citizens who wish to remain registered voters must be made to report to their polling stations to be validated by way of both facial image and fingerprints biometrically verified. Those who do not show up to have their voter status validated, the report proposes, should not be maintained on the register, in the same way that an eligible voter who does not show for registration will not have his or her name inserted into the list of voters.

Let me quote straight from the report for emphasis (Pp. 20,21):

It seems that doing nothing more than the usual updating and waiting for the citizenry to pursue those who are illegally registered, will engender the most bloated register, by the mere fact that very few of the names of the dead are likely to be brought up.

Generally, it might be difficult to justify leaving more than half a million invalid records in the register that we seek to characterize as credible. It may be expedient to try to find a middle ground to creating a new register through a completely new registration process. The Electoral Commission could consider extending the exhibition exercise to have voters confirm their names on the list, an indication that they would want to maintain their voter status.

The benefits include signaling that the Electoral Commission is doing something about the known flaws in the register; the more cost-effective approach is being used. In the same way that a new registration would have required citizens to physically appear for registration, the cleaning would require that they appear to confirm. The major difference is they spend less time because no forms are filled,

Rather than make others responsible for maintaining voters’ name on the list, the individuals should themselves do that. This also avoids the issue of people looking for documents to support any claim to get a record removed. This is largely what happens with the current system of hoping invalid names would be detected. It would be important to use this opportunity to call on all who are not eligible to voluntarily get their names off without facing any prosecution.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, for the NPP, though the attempt by the Panel to find a middle way is laudable, the best and most viable option for dealing with the current incurably flawed Register as seems to have been accepted by the EC, the Panel and even the NDC which not long ago claimed the register perfect, is for the compilation of a new Register with the necessary laws and systems to ensure that the problems of the past do not afflict it in the same way and for the EC to reaffirm its commitment to principles of fairness, transparency and integrity.  For us this is the best and most credible way to go. It will give all those who registered using the NHIS cards an opportunity to register again and legally this time, without the EC undertaking any extra work of first identifying and isolating them and informing them to come forward to regularize their voter status in a complex manner. It would help remove all the ghost names, and vigilant measures can be employed by both EC and party agents to stop non-nationals who got on the list from repeating that exercise. Finally, it will help in the critical area of bringing back public confidence in the base document that will be used for this year’s general election. 

However, we do agree that the opinion of EC panel for a validation exercise would be an acceptable and second best approach to resolving the problem of ineligible voters on Ghana’s voters’ Register.

 

RECENT COMMENTS:

Elitist Register

Over the weekend, the EC Chair granted an interview to Joy FM, using it as an opportunity to respond to a number of issues. Among others, the EC Chair stated that “if the Commission listens to the NPP, it will end up with an Elitist Register”.

We find this statement most unfortunate and again, another indication of how the EC Chair is quick to jump on the NDC propaganda bandwagon and be seen to be leading it.

The NPP’s recommendations for a New Register includes many of the requirements that have been used in the past to compile Voters’ Registers. We find it therefore strange that the EC boss will claim that our recommendations will lead to the creation of an Elitist Register. The NPP is of the view that the EC boss must desist from projecting herself as someone who speaks the same language with the ruling Party and rather speak as a neutral and fair manager of our Electoral Process.

 

Ongoing Cleaning of the Register

Again, the EC Chair disclosed in that interview that the EC was currently undertaking a cleaning of the Register. She made the bold statement that; “we (the EC) have identified in Ashanti Region alone, 200,000 names which are on the Multiple Registration List which we have to sit with the Political Parties and clear”.

This disclosure is again very strange. The EC in its response to the NPP claimed in page 23 that 150,000 names had been identified as multiples nationwide. How is it possible therefore for the EC to identify as much as 200,000 names in the Ashanti Region alone?

The NPP hereby serves notice that, it remains totally dissatisfied with the response from the EC and reiterate its conviction that only a new credible voter’s register will guarantee us free, fair and transparent elections.

The NPP is by this response calling for an immediate stop to all processes involved in the so-called internal cleaning of the Register until all parties can satisfy themselves of the modalities and means by which this so called internal cleaning is being done.

The NPP hereby serves notice that, it remains totally dissatisfied with the response from the EC and reiterate its conviction that only a new credible voter’s register will guarantee us free, fair and transparent elections.

In conclusion, the NPP wishes to thank all its rank and file, the CPP, PPP, NDP, all other political parties, including the one-half of the Ghana Freedom Party that supported the case for a new register. Our special gratitude to all the civil society groups, like the Let My Vote Count Alliance, religious leadership, like the Christian Council, the Catholic Bishops

Conference, the Muslim community, elder statesmen like President John Jerry Rawlings and President John Agyekum Kufuor, Nana Konadu Agyeman – Rawlings and, the many ordinary people, both home and abroad, who prayed and worked hard to make our voices heard. The battle is not over but we are certainly making progress.

But, we do also have a special message for President John Mahama and his NDC: with or without a new register, your time is up; change is coming. The Ghanaian people cannot wait to get rid of you with their votes. The Ghanaian people are not prepared to have this year’s elections stolen from them. The Ghanaian people are fed up with the eight years of needless suffering under the NDC. Ghanaians have had enough of your incompetence; your corruption and your deceit. They have risen to the challenge for change. Ordinary Ghanaians, students, teachers, nurses, bankers, carpenters, traders, builders, drivers, doctors, fishermen, hairdressers, tailors, farmers and the nation of unemployed youth out there have all decided to take personal and collective ownership of the change that is coming. Ghanaians are ready to protect the ballot at their various polling stations and, we, the NPP are steady and ready to lead the people on this Charge for Change.

 

The collective wisdom of all these political parties, religious bodies, former presidents and ordinary Ghanaians should not be ignored by the Electoral Commission. The call for a new register is not a party political matter but it is an issue in the supreme interest of Ghana and all Ghanaians.

Let us all arise for change! Insha Allah the NPP shall win the 2016 elections to save Ghana.

 

 


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