CI for new voter registration not ready – Majority leader

The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has dismissed allegations that the Electoral Commission is preparing to compile a new voters’ register. 

According to him, the Constitutional Instrument (CI) which would give the elections management body the power to compile a new voters’ roll ahead of the December polls had not matured. 

“The Commission cannot do any registration for now; even if they intend to, they can’t because the Constitutional Instrument that they submitted to us has not matured. 

“No registration exercise can go on without the maturation of the Constitutional Instrument,” he said. 

The Majority Leader and Member for Suame was responding to a claim by his colleague Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu that the Commission intends to go ahead with the compilation of a new register. 

In his closing remarks before the House went on recess sine die, Haruna Iddrisu, MP, Tamale South, said it was regrettable that with less than eight months to the general elections, the country was still having discussions on which register to use. 

“I’ve heard that the independent Electoral Commission wants to go ahead with the voters registration exercise on the basis that they’ll provide personal protective equipment for their staff. 

“What about the public? What about the citizens of Ghana?” the Tamale South MP asked and noted that the concern of the EC should not only be about the safety of their staff but the collective and common safety of all Ghanaians.  

But the Majority Leader said “whoever is alleging that is doing so out of ignorance. The EC knows what they are required to do and if they intend to do what they advertised earlier on, they would do what is right.” 

The EC on two occasions in March had to withdraw the CI which would have given it the legal backing to compile a new voters’ roll because it had defects. 

The EC had been at loggerheads with some opposition parties, led by the National Democratic Congress, over its decision to compile a new register for the December polls. 

They argued that the current biometric register is credible and fit for purpose for the Parliamentary and Presidential elections. 

The position of the opposition parties had been backed by 18 Civil Society Organisations including Imani, the Centre for Democratic Development, the Media Foundation for West Africa, the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition amongst others. 

But the EC which had settled on April 18, 2020 to commence the registration exercise said the new roll would ensure that the polls were credible. 

It, however, had to postpone the registration indefinitely as a result of the coronavirus pandemic which has affected all facets of national life. 

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