The Minority Leader, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, has criticised the Electoral Commission (EC)’s decision to abandon the use of indelible ink in the upcoming elections, citing significant risks for the country.
Dr. Ato Forson expressed grave concerns about the potential consequences of this decision, warning that it could lead to chaos at polling stations across the country. He urged for the decision to be reversed immediately.
Addressing Parliament at the commencement of the fourth session of the eighth Parliament, Dr. Ato Forson stressed that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MPs would vehemently oppose the EC’s move.
He argued that the use of indelible ink is vital for ensuring the integrity of elections, as it provides a visible and transparent means of verifying voters in addition to biometric verification.
The former Deputy Finance Minister emphasized that indelible ink has long been recognized as a reliable method for preventing multiple voting, as it clearly marks individuals who have already cast their ballots.
Dr. Ato Forson stressed the importance of upholding established electoral practices to safeguard the credibility and fairness of the electoral process.
“The EC claims that doing away with indelible ink in Ghana’s electoral process forms part of its measures to improve the electoral process and ensure a robust identification system.”
“The truth of the matter is that the use of indelible ink in our electoral process does no harm to the conduct of free and fair elections in Ghana.”
“In fact, indelible ink adds another layer to the integrity of elections by ensuring that voters are visibly, transparently, and physically verified in addition to biometric verification.”
He has issued a firm warning to the Electoral Commission (EC), stating that they will not support any proposal to alter the scheduled date for the 2024 elections.
Dr. Ato Forson, insisted that there are more urgent issues requiring the EC’s immediate attention than considering a change in the election date.
According to him, the EC should prioritise the preparation of the 2024 election calendar and focus its efforts on addressing essential matters rather than diverting attention to what he termed as “unnecessary issues.”
However, Dr. Ato Forson indicated that the Minority’s stance might be reconsidered if the EC undertakes substantial and meaningful reforms following the conclusion of the 2024 elections.
“Rt. Hon. Speaker, again with general elections on the horizon, the Electoral Commission and those behind it have announced their intention to change the date for this year’s general election from December to November.”
“Let me say it here and now that the NDC Minority Caucus in Parliament will not support any such change at this time.” “This is because there are more pertinent and pressing issues that require the immediate attention of the Electoral Commission than a change of date for general elections,” Dr Ato Forson said.