A Deputy Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame has fought off claims that government is behind the Electoral Commission’s (EC) decision to compile a new register since the New Patriotic Party (NPP) had always wanted a new electoral roll.
This comes on the back of the Supreme Court’s verdict to turn down the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) request for the Commission to allow prospective voters to get onto the register using the current voters’ ID card.
Describing the court;’s decision as disappointing, NDC flagbearer John Dramani Mahama at a news conference Thursday night accused the EC of allowing itself to become a tool for government to implement a diabolic agenda.
“It is deeply regrettable that the Electoral Commission which should be independent and has carved a niche for itself as a well-respected Commission in the whole of Africa has today made itself a willing tool to the execution of this most diabolic agenda,” he said.
But in an interview with JoyNews, Deputy Attorney General maintained that if the commission had remained under the leadership of former Chairman, Charlotte Osei, a new register may have been compiled.
“That definitely does not hold at all. The Electoral Commission is independent. Whoever occupies the position of chairperson of the Electoral Commission has the necessary discretion and independence to operate. I think the EC, as previously constituted clearly on the account of what transpired in the Abu Ramadan case,” Mr Dame told Joseph Ackah-Blay.
He also argued that the allegations of attempts by the government to disenfranchise Ghanaians are neither here nor there saying “all opportunities will be made available for every Ghanaian to vote.”
“The NIA Card has been issued to over 10.5 million Ghanaians who are aged 18 years and above. There is also a reasonable number of Ghanaians – about 2.5 million – who are also aged 18 and above who have passports. But even if they don’t have any of these instruments, you have the guarantor system,” he clarified.