The Chairman of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), Kofi Portuphy, has said that it will be expensive to heed to the demand for a new voters’ register by the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).
He argued that the country currently did not need a new voters’ register, citing pressing economic challenges as an important factor for this.
“We must always be thinking about the economy in terms of what it takes to build a register. If a nation can not afford it, what do we do? So there are other ways of looking at the register by not necessarily saying let’s change it. All I’m saying is that it is expensive,” he said in a Citi News interview.
Mr. Portuphy’s comment follows calls by the NPP and the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) for a new voters’ register, with suggestions that it should be changed to enhance its credibility and national appeal.
The NPP had petitioned the Electoral Commission over the matter, arguing that the register was bloated with names of foreigners and minors.
Meanwhile, the EC at an IPAC meeting on Friday directed all the political parties to submit proposals for a new voters register.
Not enthused by the NPP’s demand, which he said was creating ‘panic’, the NDC’s National Chairman said there was no need for a new register, as there were several ways the existing one could be cleaned.
“Political parties are to submit their views and opinions stating concretely what their views are and not necessarily what the NPP is saying. We have been articulating our views. There is no reason why we should create panic about voters register. We may at the end of the day agree to have a new register but we will look at what we have now have we gone by the laws that govern registration, exhibition of the voters register, that govern voting?, he said.
He indicated that, at the polling station when you are registering, you have the right to challenge a non-Ghanaian. Looking at problems where we have had double registration, the EC has been making a lot of efforts to make the register acceptable to Ghanaians and the international community. We are proud of the democratic movement in this country; we are committed to it so we will articulate and deepen our position and stance with the support of Ghanaians and the nation will move forward.”
He also dispelled rumours that most of the political parties are siding with the NPP on the need for a new register.