The Chamber for Local Governance (ChaLoG) has described as “highly untenable” reasons given by the Electoral Commission to compile a new Biometric Voters Register ahead of the 2020 general elections.

The Chamber’s call comes on the back of the election management body’s claim that the current biometric register is defective and therefore cannot be used.

In March 2019, the EC announced it will compile a new voters’ register after an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting held on Wednesday, March 27, 2019.

The need for the new voters’ register, according to the Commission, has been necessitated by several factors, including the need to replace the outmoded biometric machines.

But addressing the Commission in a statement, ChaLoG said it did not understand how a register that has been used for the past seven years to conduct the 2012 and 2016 general elections, some district-level elections and a referendum can suddenly be outmoded and obsolete.

The Chamber is of a firm belief and conviction that the demand for the compilation of a new Biometric Voters Register by the EC is not sincere.

“The Electoral Commission had for the past seven years used the current Biometric Voters Register to conduct the 2012 General Elections, 2015 District Level Elections, the 2016 General Elections and the 2018 Referendum to create the six new regions.

“This same ‘defective and non-credible Biometric Voters Register is to be used for the conduct of the December 17th District Level Elections and would have also been used for the Referendum to amend Article 55 (3) if the Bill were not to have been withdrawn by the President on the 1st December 2019. What then constitutes the compelling reason (s) why the EC is now telling Ghanaians, that this same Biometric Voters Register which has been used in the past and is also to be used to conduct the upcoming District Level Elections on December 17th 2019 has become defective and non-credible, which is necessitating a compilation of a new Biometric Voters Register?” the Chamber demands.

The Chamber went further to call on the EC to postpone the upcoming District Assembly Election since all elections held in Ghana are important.

“The EC should know or ought to have known that Ghana’s Constitution places the same premium on all elections in this country, be it District Level Elections or Presidential and/or Parliamentary Elections.

“It is therefore unthinkable and unconstitutional for the EC to purport to use a ‘defective and non-credible’ Biometric Voters Register to conduct the upcoming District Level Elections and yet go ahead to compile a new ‘non-defective and credible’ Biometric Voters Register to conduct the 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections,” the organisation said.

ChaLoG said it finds the decision by the EC to deliberately use a “defective and non-credible” Biometric Voters Register to conduct the upcoming District Level Elections to be “a very serious affront to Local Governance practice and a slap in the face of the 1992 Republican Constitution.”

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