The Danquah Institute (DI) has said though it supports the Electoral Commission’s (EC’s) decision to compile a new register, the electoral management body must be forthright and decisive in its approach and processes.
At a press conference in Accra on Monday, June 1, 2020, the Acting Executive Director, Richard Ahiagbah, mentioned the EC’s public education and rationalization as a major reason why some Ghanaians are worried and sceptical about the compilation of a new voter’s register.
“The E.C.’s public relations has also failed to give comfort to a coalition of Civil Society Organizations and political parties,” he stated.
“Recently, the issue of excluding the current voter I.D. as a form of qualification in C.I 126, has attracted widespread public disapproval. This should not have happened if the E.C. was minded to inform Ghanaians that the voter I.D. card’s exclusion as a form of qualification is directed by the Supreme Court of Ghana.”
Mr Ahiagba also urged the E.C. to engage and objectively assess the recommendations put forth by leading Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and members of the Ghana Anti-corruption Coalition (GACC).
“They raised concerns to do with the cost of compiling a new register, procurement issues, technical concerns. Others, too, have raised concerns about time and COVID-19 as reasons why the E.C. should do compile a new register. But given the overriding Constitutional, legal and process irregularities advanced thus far, and would hopefully be amplified beyond the four walls of this room, we believe that the E.C. can achieve consensus with all interest groups to engage the concerns about cost, procurement, technical, time and COVID-19 as part of the E.C.’s process to compile a new voters’ register,” he explained.
Though the case for a new register is inevitable on constitutional legal grounds, the Danquah Institute Ag. Executive Director urged the Electoral Commission to be guided by the Supreme Court’s interpretation that the mandate of the Electoral Commission to compile the register of voters implies a duty to compile a reasonably accurate and credible register.
“This is important because the right to vote is sacred and exclusive to Ghanaians, and the E.C. must indulge in all safety, legal, and regulatory measures to ensure that all eligible Ghanaians get the opportunity to register,” he said.