Deputy General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Peter Boamah Otokunor has described as “strange” the determination of the Electoral Commission (EC) to go ahead with the compilation of the New Voters’ Register despite all the challenges it has encountered.
According to him, it is impossible to understand why the Commission will “push the idea down the throats” of Ghanaians when they have not been able to provide concrete reasons for the compilation of the register.
The Commission in a statement on Tuesday announced that it will still go ahead with the compilation of the new electoral roll but at a yet-to-be-announced date, amid fears that conducting the exercise will result in the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Sylvia Annor, acting Director of Communications at the Commission assured, nonetheless, that the safety of the general public will remain paramount in their decision while also taking into consideration the legal time frames for the compilation of a register in an election year.
Speaking on Starr Fm, Peter Otokunor argued that the EC’s move shows a lack of courage on the Commission’s part to admit that they are “ill-prepared” for the Voters’ register compilation.
He says his party, the NDC, stands vindicated for raising the issues of lack of preparation by the commission and is confident that the exercise will not be held as the Commission anticipates.
“It’s an unfortunate one that the EC is not bold enough to admit that they are not technically ready to conduct the registration exercise. They are not bold enough to accept that they are ill-prepared for the conduct of the registration exercise. We stand vindicated and the evidence is clear to support these indicators and we say that verily this registration exercise, we don’t see it coming on.
“But the strange part is the obsession to continue to push down the throats of the people, misleading reasons why they will not be able to do the registration exercise for now. It is not because of the coronavirus outbreak, it is not because of the challenges that it portends for the registration exercise, neither is it the directive that the President has given. In any case, in the same statement, they have indicated that they will try and comply with the directives of the government,” he said.
Meanwhile, Minority Members of Parliament have vowed to resist a move by the Commission to exclude the current voters’ Identification Card as proof of Nationality when compiling the new voters’ register.
According to Minority spokesperson on Legal Affairs, Inusah Fuseini, the decision is a violation of the fundamental rights of Ghanaians who already have the current voters’ ID.