The General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, says should the Electoral Commission’s proposed amendment to the laws governing the voter register be admitted, it could lead to the deletion of the 2020 voters’ register.
The EC is planning on making the Ghana Card the sole source of identification for the new voters’ registration ahead of the 2024 general elections.
The Commission had explained that the law would be applied to new voters only and had thus urged yet-to-be-registered voters to acquire their Ghana Cards to register.
However, Asiedu Nketia believes that the law when admitted would not just affect new voters, but old voters as well.
Taking a cue from a past event, he explained that the new law could affect all Ghanaians who had registered for their voters’ ID card without using a Ghana Card.
“You remember the issue of the health insurance card? The Electoral Commission had used the health insurance card as a breeder document in registration to build a previous register. That matter was closed, we had a register intact.
“Then somebody goes to court that the [NHIS] card should not be used as the basis for identifying Ghanaians. Then the court rules in his favour that the [NHIS] card cannot be used as a breeder document. Electoral Commission comes back to comply, deletes the health insurance card for the new law that was being made.
“Then the person goes back to court to say that once the Supreme Court has ruled that the health insurance card cannot identify Ghanaians for the purpose of registration but you have an existing register where the health insurance card was used to capture some names, the court should compel the Electoral Commission to go back and delete all those names.
“The court ruled, and the Electoral Commission was compelled to go back and deleted all the names of people who registered with health insurance,” he said.
He noted that a similar thing could happen with the new law, should it be passed.
“So now if you’re going to limit the breeder document to just the Ghana Card, if somebody goes to court that there were other documents that were used in the compilation of the existing register so the court should rule that those are not proper documents;
“They should identify those people for their names to be removed from the register, the court by its own history would have to rule in that favour and then you’ll go through the backdoor to go and tamper with the existing register. So if anybody is telling you that this is just for the purpose of a new register that person is throwing dust in your eyes,” he stated.
He has thus urged the EC to consider other forms of identification as was done during the 2020 voters’ registration exercise in order not to disenfranchise millions of Ghanaians.
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