The Minority in Parliament has warned Ghana’s Electoral Commission (EC) not to make arbitrary decisions and to operate as if it were a sole proprietorship.
“The Commission should operate in accordance with the law,” said South Dayi Member of Parliament Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, who also serves on the House’s Constitutional, Legal, and Parliamentary Committee.
This warning, delivered in an interview on TV3’s Midday Live on Friday, September 9, follows the Commission’s announcement that only the Ghana Card will be required for the continuous registration of new voters.
“Unlike the previous registration exercise, this registration exercise will be continuous,” said Samuel Tettey, Deputy Chair of the Commission.
“As a result, anyone with the card can simply walk into our offices and register.” It is not a limited or periodic registration exercise that may disenfranchise people who do not have a Ghana Card at the time of the limited exercise. This is a year-round endeavour. As a result, if a person does not have the Ghana Card today, he or she can obtain one tomorrow and simply walk into the district office where he or she intends to vote and register.”
He was speaking to journalists as part of the Commission’s ‘Let The Citizens Know’ series.
However, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP insisted that when the Commission appeared before the subsidiary committee about two months ago, the officials were told not to proceed with the new legislative instrument that relied solely on the Ghana Card.
“We investigated the matter and advised that their decision to rely solely on the Ghana Card for the purposes of conducting the current registration will not be feasible because the Ghana Card is not in the possession of every Ghanaian over the age of 18.”
Furthermore, he emphasized, the Commission has not presented any evidence to support its claims that the system has been infiltrated by illegal registrants through the guarantor system.
Mr Dafeamekpor claims that the EC is simply misinterpreting the law and applying it inconsistently and that the only way to resolve the claim is to clear the register rather than add to it.
“You want to add more numbers to the data you have [but] the data you already have contains a certain number of names that were entered onto the register using the guarantor system, so how do you say that data is corrupt because certain persons entered using the very ‘corrupt’ guarantor system and thus you want to rely solely on Ghana Card?”
“It is now your responsibility to clean that register if you believe it is dirty.” You don’t put names on a register that you claim is dirty.”
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