The Director of Elections for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Elvis Afriyie Ankrah has indicated that the Electoral Commission (EC) is likely to lose credibility over its decision to go ahead with the compilation of a new voters register despite resistance from some political parties in the country.
According to Mr Afriyie Ankrah, the EC is not being consistent and transparent in giving reasons why a new register should be compiled ahead of the 2020 general elections.
“The credibility of every election depends on the credibility of the register, and unfortunately, we’ve had an EC that has not been transparent, they’ve not been candid enough when it comes to this issue of a voters’ register and they have conducted themselves in a manner that does not engender confidence.”
“The foundation of everything they are doing is based on falsehood. If you build on falsehood, it will collapse, I’m a spiritual man, you watch and see. The more they speak, the more foolish they will become, they will lose total credibility. It is in their interest to stop this so that if they have a little credibility left, it will be protected because the institution itself should be protected. where they are heading to, every bit of their credibility is going down the more.”
The Electoral Commission last year, expressed an intention to compile a new biometric register citing voter verification challenges among others as their reasons for embarking on themove.
While the decision has been welcomed by some 13 parties, including former first lady’s National Democratic Party (NDP), the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and the People’s National Convention (PNC), 6 other opposition parties, including the largest opposition party in the country, the National Democratic Congress have rejected the EC’s decision.
Speaking on Citi TV, Mr Ankrah suggested that the NDC is not convinced by the various excuses being given by the commission describing them as untenable and full of lies.
“They are just not making sense. Today the register is overstretched, whatever that means, in technical terms, there’s nothing like overstretched. One of the things they told us at the meeting is that the data room is too hot. If your cooling system is hot, don’t you just change it and upgrade it?
“Yesterday, Dr. Bossman Asare was here and he demonstrated it. I’m sure he was briefed but he did not anticipate the follow-up questions and he ended up messing up himself, it was a disaster. In the morning he had lied on a sister radio station. Cause I was listening to him and I sent the question asking if they engaged the political parties, he said yes, he engaged them, which is a total lie, they have not. He said when the matter came out and the made the comment none of the parties objected so you take that to mean approval, I mean how can you do this to yourself? a PhD holder,” he said.
According to him, the Commission is not “being consistent”, and “truthful” in their dealings with Ghanaians.
Questions have been raised as to whether the political parties campaigning for ‘No New Register’ are challenging the independence of the EC, but in response to this, Mr Ankrah said, “Nobody is contesting the independence of the EC, but independence must be put within a proper contextual framework because the EC is not operating on an island, they are not an electoral commission unto themselves. They are electoral commission providing service to the people of Ghana and the political parties”.
The ‘Inter-party Resistance Against the New Voters Register (IPRAN) last week embarked on a protest to register its displeasure with the decision of the Jean Mensah-led Electoral Commission.
Despite this, the EC has been firm insisting that a new voters’ register is the way to go if the country is to have free, fair and credible polls in December this year.
The NDC meanwhile remains poised to fight the EC with its Director of Elections saying they “are going to do everything politically, legally and constitutionally possible to stop this,” ABC News can report.
Meanwhile, the NDC and PNC have welcomed the decision of the Electoral Commission (EC) to engage the political parties opposed to the compilation of the new register.