The Minority in Parliament has warned against the Electoral Commission’s plan to compile a new voters’ register using only the Ghana card.
According to the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, such a move will threaten the stability of the country as the inalienable rights of legal-age Ghanaians to vote and to exercise that right to vote will be infringed upon.
“Our understanding as we pick it up is that the Electoral Commission of Ghana is desperately planning to discard the 2020 Voter Register and replace it with a new voter register – which register has caused the taxpayer and the people of Ghana to build with $80million thereabout,” he said.
This will be the second time the Jean Mensa-led Electoral Commission has discarded a voters’ register.
Ahead of the 2020 general elections, the EC had justified its call for a new voters’ register by claiming that the 2016 register contained the names of non-citizens and, therefore, a new register was the best way to expunge those names from the register.
The move had been met with criticism from civil society organsiations and political parties who described the EC’s justification as ‘absurd’.
“So in 2020 the Electoral Commission against all sound and technical advice replaced the 2016 biometric voters’ register – you all recall that – this decision was without consensus by all political parties, civil society and critical election stakeholders.
“In pursuit of that political agenda the EC undertook a new voter registration exercise which currently puts the voter population of our country at 17,041,340 voters,” Haruna Iddrisu stated.
According to the Minority Leader, the decision to use the Ghana card only to register eligible Ghanaians will disenfranchise Ghanaians as it takes away the option of using guarantors for those who may not have a Ghana card.
“Our understanding is that the Electoral Commission is seeking to make the national ID card the only source of justification to register onto the voter ID register.
“Our concern primarily is that in the past, since 1993, voter registration exercises that have been undertaken, you normally have the provision of a guarantor of other persons guaranteeing for persons to get onto the voter register and so far as it is established that they are Ghanaian, and are of age, and of sound mind, and to participate in Ghana’s electoral process to vote and be voted for.”
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