The Electoral Commission has described as “untruths and falsehoods,” allegations by the opposition National Democratic Congress that the commission has embarked on an election-rigging expedition for the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).
According to the electoral management body, persistent attacks by the opposition party on it and its operations is a deliberate attempt to ruin its reputation and cause disenchantment for the EC.
The NDC, led by its National Chairman, Mr. Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo at a news conference on Thursday, May 15, 2020, accused the EC and the National Identification Authority of plotting with the NPP to rig the 2020 elections.
Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo also claimed that the exclusion of the Voter’s ID card as a form of identification during the registration is meant to suppress their votes.
“Should the electoral commission decide to embark on new voter registration, what it means is that all these people who don’t have NIA cards will have to either go and swear an affidavit or wait until some people are registered and guarantee them.”
“…It’s a deliberate attempt to suppress votes and ensure that as many people as possible are unable to make themselves available,” he said.
But the EC in a statement issued and signed by its Acting Director of Public Affairs, Sylvia Annoh has completely dismissed the allegations, labelling same as intentional misinformation to undermine their operations.
It indicated that conspiracy with any political party or institution to rig the election is an impossibility given the level of transparency it is demonstrating in all the electoral processes.
“The Electoral Commission is not oblivious of the calculated attempts by the NDC to repeatedly peddle untruths and falsehoods aimed at tarnishing its image and causing disaffection for it.”
“It is impossible for the Commission to conspire with any political party or institution as being speculated by Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo and the NDC since the electoral processes remain transparent at all levels. As an independent body, the Electoral Commission is mandated to conduct free, fair, and transparent elections within the confines of the law and will continue to perform its functions as such without fear or favour.”
“The EC found it imperative to amend the CI 91 which is currently in Parliament for applicants to resort to the use of the Ghanaian Passport and the Ghana Card to aid in the elimination of unqualified names in the register,” the statement said.
The EC argued that the exclusion of the Voter’s ID card as a requirement for registration in the new electoral roll will not lead to suppression of votes as alleged by the NDC since applicants without the required documents have the option of resorting to guarantors.
“Moreover, the new CI, if passed by parliament, will afford guarantors the opportunity to guarantee for upwards of ten (10) applicants instead of five (5) as stipulated in the current CI.”
“It is worthy to note that the Commission does not require the services of Commissioners of Oath during the registration of voters as alluded to by Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo. It must be put on record that the Ghana card has been a requirement in the current CI since 2012. Additionally, the Birth Certificate has never been used as a requirement since 1995 because it does not contain a photograph for purposes of identification,” the EC said.
“On the issue of registration in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the EC has repeatedly indicated that it will strictly adhere to the safety protocols spelt out by the Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Health,” it said.
“The Electoral Commission wishes to assure all stakeholders at all levels of its determination to deliver free, fair and credible Presidential and Parliamentary Elections on December 7, 2020, as mandated by law,” the statement added.