Pressure group, Concerned Voters Movement (CVM) has urged the Electoral Commission (EC) not to rely on data from National Identification Authority (NIA) for the compilation of a new voters’ register.

In a statement, CVM Founder and President, Razak Kojo Opoku, said the suggestion by the Executive Director of the NIA, Prof Ken Attafuah, that the EC can rely on the Ghana Cards is untenable.

“The Ghana Card is not supported by any Legislative Instrument (LI) or Constitutional Instrument (CI) for the conduct of elections in Ghana. There are no provisions in the NIA Act which give it the necessary legal backing to use the Ghana Card for the conduct of elections in Ghana.

“The Ghana Card Registration is NOT done on the basis of Polling Stations, unlike Electoral Commission whose Registration is done at the Polling Stations across the Country. The Ghana Card in its current form cannot be used for the purpose of 2020 general elections, maybe future general elections,” CVM said in the statement. 

Razak Kojo Opoku

Razak Kojo Opoku

The group also criticised Prof Attafuah of “throwing dust into the eyes of Ghanaians” with his suggestion, instead of concentrating on “issuing Ghana Cards to all eligible persons by the end of March.”

“We cannot as Ghanaians, entrust the serious assignment of voters registration into the hands of NIA because as they put it ‘when it comes to elections there is no room for jokes,’” the statement said.

Prof Attafuah said last Saturday that the Authority has all the biometric data the EC will need for the creation of a new voters’ register.

Speaking on Joy News’ news analysis programme, Newsfile, Prof Attafuah said the NIA’s enrolment platform captures the biographic details – which includes the iris, fingerprints, facials – the Commission would require in compiling a new electoral roll.

“The only thing the EC needs, which the NIA does not take, is polling station number or name but that is as easy as ABC to get with technology; it is not a problem at all,” he added.

Parliament has approved a ¢390 million for the EC to compile a new voters’ register for the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections.

While the decision to compile a new electoral roll has been sternly criticised by some opposition political parties and Civil Society Organisations, the EC is bent on creating the new register as it says the old system is overstretched.