Jean Mensa must listen to voices of reason - NDC Ashanti Regional Council of Elders

Jean Mensa must listen to voices of reason - NDC Ashanti Regional Council of Elders
Source: Myjoyonline.com | Nasiba Yakubu
Date: 26-01-2020 Time: 01:01:13:pm
Jean Mensa, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Ghana

The Ashanti Regional Council of Elders for the National Democratic Congress has joined the bandwagon in preaching against the compilation of the new voters’ register ahead of the 2020 elections.

In a press release, signed by the chairman, Frank Osei Mensah, the Council said that the posturing of the EC regarding the new voters’ register has a tendency of driving the country into chaos.

“Ghana is a peace-loving nation and we have been acclaimed internationally for that. The EC should and must know that it is treading on dangerous grounds and that the earlier it steers clear of danger to avoid bloodshed, the better it will be for Ghana.”

“EC, listen to the voices of reason and drop that infamous decision of compiling a new electoral roll. The current register is by all standards credible as you yourself has admitted,” the statement read.

State publisher, Graphic, reported that the Electoral Commission (EC) will begin compiling a new voters’ register on Sunday, April 18, 2020.

Confirming the report, Deputy Chairperson of the EC in charge of Operations, Mr Samuel Tettey said the EC will deploy 8,000 registration devices to cover the 32,000 polling stations across the country.

The Commission intends to complete the exercise by May 30, 2020. The Commission also expects to exhibit the new register from August 15 to August 28, 2020.

Kumasi demo - voters register
Inter-party Resistance Against the New Voter’s Register demonstration in Kumasi

However, the decision of the EC has been met with numerous demonstrations in some cities including Tamale in the Northern Region and Kumasi in the Ashanti Region and an Inter-party Resistance Against the New Voter’s Register led by NDC and some of the smaller opposition parties.

Kumasi demo - voters register

According to the Ashanti Regional Council of Elders for the NDC, the reasons adduced by the Commission for the compilation of a new electoral roll do not hold water and fly in the face of reason and logic.

They added that the announcement by the EC to go ahead with the new voters’ register is a demonstration of arrogance and a show of disrespect to the Eminent Advisory Committee and to IPAC.

Read the full post below:

THE COUNCIL OF ELDERS

NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS


ASHANTI REGION 

Press Statement:

*JEAN MENSAH MUST LISTEN TO THE VOICES OF REASON*

The Ashanti Regional Council of Elders for the National Democratic Congress wishes to add its voice to the many voices that have cautioned the Electoral Commission (EC) against its infamous decision of compiling a new electoral roll.

The council deems it necessary to add its voice to the brouhaha because of the danger it poses to our democracy. Indeed, the posturing of the EC has the proclivity of plunging this nation into chaos. We cannot afford to allow two persons, that is, Jean Mensah and Bossman Asare, to toy with our fledgling democracy.

It is instructive to mention that the very foundation of our democracy is the EC. Some of the core values of the Commission are: impartiality, fairness, transparency, integrity, accountability and the construction of consensus. The commission must not only exhibit these values but must be manifestly seen to be exhibiting them. Sadly, the current EC has failed woefully in displaying these core values.

It will be recalled that on the 22nd day of October, 2015, the current Chairperson of the EC, Mrs. Jean Mensa who then was the Executive Director of the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA), said and we quote, *"Though Article 46 of the national Constitution protects the EC from direction or control, it is nevertheless accountable to the citizens because it is a public organization which draws its funds from the consolidated fund. It must, therefore, ensure full transparency and accountability in its work."* What has changed? Why does Mrs Jean Mensa now think that the EC is not accountable to the people?

The reasons adduced by the Commission for the compilation of a new electoral roll do not hold water and fly in the face of reason and logic. It is no wonder that many well-meaning Ghanaians have vehemently spoken against the move by the EC. As many as eighteen (18) civil society organizations have spoken against it. A good number of political parties have done same and the EC's own establishment, the Eminent Advisory Committee, has recently had cause to advise the EC to meet with IPAC for broader consultation and for consensus building.

In deference to the Eminent Advisory Committee, the Inter-party Resistance Against New Voters' Register had earlier announced in Kumasi that it has suspended its demonstrations pending the outcome of the meeting with the Eminent Advisory Committee on the one hand and the EC and IPAC on the other hand.

Surprisingly and arrogantly, the EC on Thursday January 23, 2020 announced April 18, 2020 as the date for the commencement of the compilation of a new register ahead of the proposed meeting by the Eminent Advisory Committee. This, in our view, is a gross demonstration of arrogance and a show of total  disrespect to the Eminent Advisory Committee and to IPAC.

It is against this backdrop that we join the many voices of reason in cautioning the EC against its intransigence and disrespect for the good people of Ghana whom Article 1 of the 1992 Constitution says sovereignty resides in.

We add that the EC is a microcosm of Ghana and we cannot sit down and allow such a small entity to plunge the whole nation into chaos . Ghana is a peace-loving nation and we have been acclaimed internationally for that. The EC should and must know that it is treading on dangerous grounds and that the earlier it steers clear of danger to avoid blood shed, the better it will be for Ghana.

EC, listen to the voices of reason and drop that infamous decision of compiling a new electoral roll. The current register is by all standards credible as you yourself has admitted.

*FRANK OSEI MENSAH*

*(Chairman)*