Since the time the 1992 constitution was inducted, it became clear to all Ghanaians that all things being equal, there would be elections in the year 2020 as per its statuses.
Fast forward 2020, the nation is divided on a decision being taken by the Electoral Commission in compiling a new voter’s register.
The ruling party, New Patriotic Party (NPP) and other political parties like the CPP etc are in support of a new voter’s register. And as to be expected, the biggest opposition party in the country, National Democratic Congress (NDC), the People’s National Convention (PNC) and other parties have formed the group “Inter Party Resistance Against New Voter’s Register” (IPRAN) to protest against the decision being made by the Electoral Commission to compile a new register.
The NPP in particular have advocated for a new register since 2016 citing a lack of credibility of the current register and claiming it to be full of ghost names and errors.
This same register been deemed not credible by the NPP won them power in the 2016 general elections and this same register has been used in conducting various elections under this government (the district assembly elections, referendum among others).
Honestly, I was expecting the NPP to reject the outcome of the 2016 elections which they won with over a million votes after all the register you claim can’t be trusted won you the election.
And yet they accepted the decision in good faith without contesting or arguing about the credibility of the voter’s register.
And here we are, five (5) months to an election and in the midst of a pandemic, the Electoral Commission is hell bent on compiling a new register.
The compilation in itself is not really the problem to many. The problem is the required documents needed to get registered into this new voter’s register about to be compiled and the insistence on compiling a new register in the wake of a pandemic taking many lives and barely 5 months to an election.
The documents needed to get registered according to the EC are the Ghana Card and a valid national passport and/or maybe someone being a guarantee for someone while the existing national voter’s ID which many Ghanaians are having has been sidelined.
Statistics available shows that about only 2 million Ghanaians are having passport in this country.
The basic document needed to acquire a passport in Ghana is the birth certificate, so why is the birth certificate being sidelined?
The National Identification Authority (NIA) in charge of the Ghana Card has, according to statistics available, issued not more than 7 million cards. Most people have not received their cards yet and some couldn’t even get the opportunity to register.
Why are we sidelining the old voter’s ID and the birth certificate which many Ghanaians are having to opt for passport and Ghana Card which many people do not have??
What’s more surprising is the EC earlier saying the old voters ID won’t be discarded in compiling a new register.
So, what has changed??
Why only passport and Ghana Card now?? Is there a hidden agenda somewhere??
It’s clear that when only passport and Ghana card are used many Ghanaians would be disenfranchised.
The National House Of Chiefs, IMANI Ghana, CODEC and many social groups have kicked against this decision but it seems the Electoral Commission is unperturbed.
Recently, the Electoral Commission had been directed by the Supreme Court to file by 8th June, 2020 a comprehensive statement of case setting out legal basis for excluding the existing voters ID for the new registration.
It’s of good course knowing that the EC made the decision in starting the new register in April 18th, 2020 which they projected to complete all due processes leading to the election by November. We’re in June now and the EC is still thinking of going ahead to compile a new register. Mind you, All due processes needs to be completed before the general election can take place.
If it had started in April (18th), it would have ended in November, when we start in late June, when are we going to finish in time for the December 7 polls.
How many people are willing to risk their lives in the midst of a pandemic to join queues to register??
Interesting Times Ahead
Albert Oddae Banafo Jnr0559890906