Former President Jerry John Rawlings has bemoaned the seeming mistrust among political figures towards the compilation of a New Voters’ Roll few months to the 2020 general elections.
The former President, who was responding to a petition by the Inter-Party Resistance against the New Voters’ Register (IPRAN) indicated that if the country does not find means of dealing with the mistrust, it has the tendency of creating unnecessary tension during the Presidential and Parliamentary elections to be held in December.
The Electoral Commission (EC), since expressing the intent to compile a new register has been faced with stiff opposition from many sides.
While some six(6) political parties, including the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) as well as some Civil Society Organizations, have openly expressed their reservations about the need for the register, thirteen other parties have affirmed their support for the exercise.
Ahead of a stakeholder engagement meeting slated for tomorrow, January 30, 2020, the Commission has gone ahead to set Saturday, April 18 to begin the ‘non-consensual’ exercise. It is expected to be completed on May 30.
Interacting with the IPRAN delegation led by the Chairman of the Peoples National Convention (PNC) Bernard Mornah, the former President said steps must be taken to ensure transparency in the upcoming elections.
This, he indicated will ensure the integrity of the process and save the country from any ‘sour atmosphere’.
“There is so much mistrust that if we do not find a way of dealing with some of these issues, they will remain and sour the atmosphere during the election period. It will keep us very close to an ignition point which will be very unnecessary. This coming election is going to be a truly serious thing and nobody must take the process for granted or think they can get away with making the wrong moves.”
“The steps being taken must be transparent so no one has any doubts about the integrity of the process. Whoever wants to win will necessarily have to win by free and fair means,” he stated.