Political parties agree on continuous voter registration

The media engaging some political party heads after the meeting

The media engaging some political party heads after the meeting

The political parties have agreed for the Electoral Commission (EC) to undertake a continuous registration exercise to register individuals who attained the age of 18 years.

In view of this, the EC is currently developing the modalities for the continuous registration exercise to begin.

This was a consensus reached between the EC and all the political parties at the Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) at a meeting yesterday, to review the just-ended limited registration exercise.

Also at yesterday’s IPAC meeting, it was agreed among the parties that the EC should within 24 hours, hold a press conference to explain its interpretation on the ruling of the Supreme Court which ordered it to clean the Voters Register.

During the press conference, the EC announced the date for the exhibition of the register to enable the political parties to challenge minors and people whose names should not appear on the register, in a bid to clean it as directed by the Supreme Court.

Abu Ramadan and Evans Nimako filed a writ for the Supreme Court to, among other things, declare the current Voters Register null and void because it contained  the names of minors and dead people.

The plaintiffs also prayed the Supreme Court to set aside the current Voters Register and order the EC to compile a new Voters Register.

The Supreme Court, in its ruling, granted the relief for the EC to compile a credible Voters Register as possible for this year’s general election.

Particularly on the use of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) for Registration, Mr Justice N.S  Gbadegbe, who delivered the judgment stated that there was a law in place which regulated the use of NHIS cards at the time of the registration.

Speaking to the media after the IPAC Meeting, Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, the Chairman of the Election Committee of the National Democratic Congress   said all the political parties agreed that the continous registration should be carried out by the EC to enable people who had attained the age of 18 years to register.

On the Supreme Court ruling on the Voters Register, he said the parties agreed for the EC to within 24-hours come out and explain its position on the Supreme Court ruling.

The Acting General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party, John Boadu for his part said the NPP supports the continuous registration exercise.

On the EC’s intended press conference to explain the Supreme Court ruling, he said he would not comment on the issue until the EC comes out with its interpretation of the Supreme Court Ruling.

On the EC’s move to use Voter Exhibition to clean the register, he responded the “process is not exhaustive.”

The General Secretary of the Peoples National Convention, Atik Mohammed for his part said the EC indicated that it did not have the legal mandate to remove the names of people in the Voters Register who used NHIS cards to register.

He said the meeting discussed that the EC should use the exhibition of the Voter Register to remove the names of minors and people who are dead.

The National Chairman of the Progressive Peoples Party, Allotey Brew-Hammond said the EC indicated that it would be holding a press conference to explain its position on the Supreme Court ruling on the Voters Register.

By Kingsley Asare

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