The five-member panel reviewing proposals for and against demands for a new voters register says arguments for a new register are unconvincing.
The EC, a month ago organized a two-day forum for political parties, Civil Society organisations and individuals to collate views on the credibility or otherwise of the register.
The EC decided to hold the forum following heated national debate over the register after the opposition New Patriotic Party claimed it had evidence suggesting the register had been compromised with as many as 76,000 non-Ghanaian voters on it.
There were a number of demonstrations some of which turned violent.
A panel was therefore constituted to solicit opinions from stakeholders on whether or not to compile a new register.
Weeks after the two day forum, the panel has submitted its report to the EC.
Chair of the Panel Justice VCRAC Crabbe is recommending that EC should not replace the current voters’ register. The panel however stated that it will still continue to monitor events relating to the register.
The following is the full statement from the Electoral Commission
ELECTORAL COMMISSION’S POSITION ON THE VOTERS’ REGISTER
The Electoral Commission is pleased to inform the general public that it has received the report submitted by the Independent Panel set up by the Commission and tasked to look into the concerns and views of stakeholders on the Voters’ Register. Following the receipt of the report on December 21, 2015, the Commission has concluded its study of the report submitted by the Panel and wishes to advise the public as follows:
1. The Panel finds the arguments for a new register unconvincing and therefore does not recommend the replacement of the current voters’ register;
2. The Panel is of the view that the responsibility for having a clean and credible register is the shared responsibility of all citizens of Ghana;
3. The Electoral Commission accepts the recommendations of the Panel and will progressively implement the recommendations made therein;
4. The Electoral Commission will continue to engage stakeholders to ensure that a clean and credible voters’ register is in place for the 2016 general elections through an inclusive and collaborative audit process;
5. The Commission will publish the full report of the Panel on its website- www.ec.gov.gh by 7th January 2016 for the benefit of the public.
The Commission further wishes to inform the public that it has examined all the allegations and complaints made by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) on the voters’ register and has responded appropriately to the party. A copy of the findings of the Commission into the claims made by the NPP will also be made available to the Public on the Commission’s website.
The Commission takes the opportunity to thank the members of the Panel led by His Lordship VCRAC Crabbe, the Political Parties, Civil Society Organizations, Faith Based Organizations and all stakeholders for the support and cooperation shown to the Commission during the engagements on the Voters’ Register.
The Commission reiterates its commitment to ensuring transparent, inclusive and credible general elections in 2016 and to ensuring democratic growth and stability in Ghana and takes the opportunity to wish all citizens of Ghana a blessed, peaceful and prosperous 2016.
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