Pressure group, Concerned Voters Movement has criticised the largest opposition party in the country, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for opposing the Electoral Commission’s decision to compile a new electoral roll ahead of the 2020 polls.
The group is further accusing other opposition parties as well as some civil society groups in support of the NDC’s stance of failing to place the interest of the country above parochial needs.
According to the Movement, the various political parties and Civil Society Organizations opposing the new voters register are engaging in “intellectual dishonesty.”
CVM contends that the arguments espoused the Inter-Party Resistance against the new voters register are rather baseless, misleading and bogus.
In press statement released on Saturday January 11 2020 and copied to ABC News, the Movement contended that “The arguments by the National Democratic Congress(NDC), CDD and Inter-Party Resistance against the New Voters Register (IPRAN) is baseless, misleading and completely bogus.”
“The arguments of timelines, cost and rigging as the basis for the rejection of the New Voters Register by the NDC, CDD, IPRAN and others can be best described as intellectual dishonesty,” portions of the statement signed by Razak Kojo Opoku, the founder and president of the Movement read.
In view of this, the group has declared its full support to the Electoral Commission following its decision to have a more credible electoral roll for the conduct of this year’s polls.
Read the full statement below:
The Concerned Voters Movement under the leadership of Razak Kojo Opoku fully support the decision of the Electoral Commission to compile a New Voters Register as enshrined in Article 45 of the 1992 Constitution.
The arguments by the National Democratic Congress(NDC), CDD and Inter-Party Resistance against the New Voters Register (IPRAN) is baseless, misleading and completely bogus.
The arguments of timelines, cost and rigging as the basis for the rejection of the New Voters Register by the NDC, CDD, IPRAN and others can be best described as intellectual dishonesty.
The Electoral Commission under the NDC administration in 2012 compiled a New Voters Register between the period of April to May.
That same year the Electoral Commission created additional 45 Constituencies bringing the total to 275 for the 2012 General Elections.
Under all these circumstances the NPP as the largest opposition Party then never objected to the compilation of the 2012 New Biometric Voters Register and the creation of additional 45 Constituencies all within the period of election year 2012.
Therefore the noise by the NDC, CDD, IPRAN and others over timeliness are completely senseless.
For avoidance of doubt, the 1992 Voters Register was used for 9 years before it was changed, 2004 Voters Register was used for 8 years before it was changed and now the 2012 Voters Register is 8 years old and it is about to be changed. Under no material time has the Country’s Voters Register been used for 10 years before it was changed.
2. Cost of 2020 New Voters Register
The argument of cost by NDC, CDD, IPRAN and others is very sub-standard.
Charlotte Osei leading the EC under John Mahama’s administration spent GHC 487, 998, 714.00 for just a Limited Registration Exercise in 2016. That was completely waste of Public Funds.
Fast forward to 2020, Jean Mensa leading the EC under Akufo-Addo’s administration is spending Parliamentary approved budget of GHC 390, 265,186.44 for a completely New Voters Register ahead of the 2020 General Elections. This is what we call Value for Money Expenses.
Therefore the argument of cost against the 2020 New Voters Register is completely flawed.
3. Rigging of 2020 Election
Per the argument of NDC and IPRAN that the Electoral Commission wants to use the compilation of the New Voters Register to rig the 2020 elections for NPP and President Akufo-Addo largely confirms the perception that maybe the NDC rigged the 2012 General Elections with the New Voters Register and the creation of the 45 additional constituencies.
The NDC and IPRAN are making noise perhaps due to their track record of using the 2012 New Voters Register to manipulate the election results in their favour.
In 2016, the NPP were advocating for a New Voters Register and the NDC were against the compilation of the New Voters Register yet the NPP won 2016 General Elections emphatically whereas the NDC lost miserably.
Therefore the argument of using the New Voters Register to rig the 2020 General Elections for the NPP does not make sense.
However, the compilation of the 2020 New Voters Register would help the Electoral Commission to:
1. Avoid the payment of over Four Hundred Million US Dollars as the annual maintenance fee for the EC Data Center.
2. Avoid the expensive payments for updating the obsolete Data Center, refurbishing of obsolete BVR Kits and upgrading of obsolete BVDs.
3. Successfully generate new Codes for the various Polling Stations within the newly created Six (6) regions.
4. Successfully generate new Codes for the newly created Six (6) Regions plus the various constituencies within these new regions.
4. Successfully implement the ROPAL as ruled by the Supreme Court of Ghana.
The NDC, CDD, IPRAN and others arguments against the compilation of the New Voters Register for the 2020 General Elections are completely bogus and they should be ignored entirely.
Razak Kojo Opoku
(CVM Founder and President)