The Council of Elders of the largest opposition party, NDC will address a news conference tomorrow to respond to moves by the Electoral Commission to limit the eligibility criteria to only the Ghana Card.
The event, scheduled to take place at the party headquarters at 2pm, will specifically address the new proposed Constitutional Instrument on the registration of voters.
The development follows the posturing of the EC Chair, Jean Mensah and her Commissioners, who intend to sideline the NDC in particular regardless of laid down conventions as witnessed in previous election years under the Inter Party Advicsory Committee, IPAC.
NDC’s Council of Elder’s according to insiders is uncomfortable with misleading commentaries by EC officials who clearly know their agenda, yet suggesting they do not intend to use the Ghana Card for the 2024 elections.
Last week a Deputy Commissioner, Samuel Tettey, told Journalists at the Commission’s “Let the Citizen Know” encounter, that its sweeping reforms to voter registration and voting, will involve continuous registration two years ahead of the 2024 elections.
“We have also heard discussions to the effect that citizens will vote with the Ghana Card in 2024; this is not true. The card is only a requirement to register as a voter for those who have not previously registered as voters.
Once you present your Ghana Card and successfully register as a voter, you will be issued a voter identification card which bears the features of the EC; namely, the code of your region, district, electoral area, and polling station.”…he stated, advising all parties to encourage their members to register for the Ghana Card.
Samuel Tettey further explained that the current guarantor system, which was a system adopted in the past to limit impersonation, is fraught with many challenges.
“This registration exercise unlike the previous registration exercise will be continuous. As such, anyone who has the card can just walk to our offices and register. It is not a periodic or limited registration exercise that could disenfranchise persons who do not have the Ghana Card at the time of the limited exercise.
This is an all-year-round process. As such, a person who doesn’t have the Ghana Card today can acquire it tomorrow and simply walk into a district office where he or she intends to vote and register.”…he explained.
POLITICAL PARTIES DIVIDED:
Aside the governing NPP, which is the only political party backing the move, the NDC, CPP, PPP and PNC have all kicked against the agenda, described as a rigging machinery in motion
This is especially because many eligible voters in many parts of the country particularly in know storng holds of the opposition are yet to get their national ID Cards.
AFARI GYAN’ CAUTIONS EC
Last month, a former Chairperson of the Electoral Commission , Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, cautioned the EC against any policy likely to disenfranchise Ghanaians.
According to him, the proposal by the E.C to register new voters with only the Ghana card as a recipe for disaster, adding that the Electoral Commission must tread cautiously as its decision could disenfranchise many Ghanaians in the 2024 elections.
Dr Afari Gyan who spoke with Graphic Online, Dr. Afari-Gyan said millions of qualified electorates will be disenfranchised by the E.C’s decision to make the Ghana card the only form of identification for voter registration.
“Ghanaian citizens don’t lose their citizenship if they are 18 years or older but do not have the Ghana Card. So, the moot question is: why make the Ghana Card the only means of identification for purposes of establishing eligibility to register to vote,” he quizzed.
The C.I., which is titled: Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Regulations, 2021, will form the Constitutional framework which would regulate the continuous voter registration by the Electoral Commission.
Per the draft before Parliament, the Ghana Card will be the sole form of identification for eligible voters who want to get onto the electoral register ahead of the 2024 elections.