Majority Leader in Parliament says claims that the Electoral Commission (EC) is going ahead to compile a new voter’s register are doing so “out of ignorance”.
Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, addressing the House Friday indicated that the legislative instrument to permit the EC to carry out such mandate has not matured yet.
Thus, the Suame MP says the Commission cannot perform any registration exercise unless that constitutional instrument is passed.
According to him, that will happen when Parliament resumes sitting after its indefinite break on May 1.
“The Commission cannot do any registration for now, even if they intend to do so, they can’t because the constitutional instrument they have submitted have not matured so no registration exercise can go on.
“So whoever is alleging that [EC is compiling new voters’ register], is doing so out of complete ignorance, because the Electoral Commission cannot do that,” he stressed.
His comments follow a caution from Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu to the National Identification Authority (NIA) and EC against undertaking registrations when a ban on public gatherings is in force because of Covid – 19.
“Some public institutions [NIA and EC] are not respecting President’s pursuant to the imposition and restrictions. That is not legally right and it’s unacceptable.
“You can provide all face masks and PPEs for your staff, can you provide same for the general public. Therefore, we should not be encouraging the flouting of the law.”
New voters’ register
The EC since December 2019 has argued that the current voter management system cannot be used due to some technical challenges and must be replaced for credible elections in December 2020.
However, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) together with some smaller parties have kicked against the compilation of a new roll.
NDC communicators say the EC is scheming with the governing NPP — which has long called for a new voters’ register — to rig the polls.
Meanwhile, the NDC is in court challenging the EC’s right to compile a new voters’ register.
The party argues the Constitution only gives the EC the power to compile a register once and revise it thereof.
Article 45(a) of the 1992 Constitution gives the EC the power “to compile the register of voters and revise it at such periods as may be determined by law.”