Four political parties have expressed conflicting positions on the proposed new Constitutional Instrument (C.I.) that seeks to make the Ghana Card the sole identification document for continuous voters’ registration.
Theyare the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the Convention People’s Party (CPP), and the People’s National Convention (PNC).
The parties expressed varied opinions about the proposed Instrument and whereas the NPP and the PNC supported the new C.I. which would help sanitise the voter register, the NDC and the CPP expressed concern about the move and expressed fearsthat eligible citizens who “genuinely” could not access the Ghana Card ahead of the 2024 elections could be disenfranchised.
However, all the political parties, agreed on the need for the government to resource the National Identification Authority (NIA) to register all Ghanaians and issue them their cards on time.
Jean Mensa, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), has briefed Committee of the Whole of Parliament on the new draft Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Regulations, 2022.
She told the House that the use
of the Ghana Card as the source document to prove one’s identity would help to rid the electoral register of foreigners and help guarantee the integrity and credibility of the register.
Richard Ahiagbah, the Director of Communications, NPP, said the decision to use the Ghana Card as sole identity document was in order because the Commission was treading in the right direction, looking to be progressive, and add to efforts to evolve the electoral system.
Janet Nabla, the General Secretary of PNC, supported the new C.I. since the use of the guarantor system in the registration of voters had over the years offered a window to foreigners and minors to get onto the register and would not accept the guarantor system since it was fraudulent and full of complexities.
Mustapha Gbande, Deputy General Secretary of NDC, lamented that the new C.I. was “flawed on logic and point of law” since the use of the Ghana Card as only identity document had potential to disenfranchise many eligible voters particularly those in remote areas.
Nana Akosua Sarpong-Kumankumah, the Chairperson of CPP, urged the EC to focus on delivering its constitutional mandate of registering all eligible voters and should not rely on NIA in discharge of its duties.
She enumerated the challenges encountered in the use of Ghana Card for the registration of SIM cards and relying on the card alone to register voters could be problematic and alleged that EC’s constitutional mandate had been compromised