The Minority Caucus in Parliament has alleged that the Electoral Commission (EC) is planning to compile a fresh voters’ register for the 2024 presidential and parliamentary elections.
Minority Leader and Member for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu, told journalists in Parliament yesterday that the Commission intended to use the Ghana Card as the sole eligibility document for the compilation.
“Our understanding as we pick it up is that the EC is desperately planning to discard the 2020 voter register and replace it with a new one.
“The Electoral Commission is seeking, through a Constitutional Instrument that may come before Parliament, to replace the 2020 voter register and to make the requirement for getting unto the voter register the national identity card as the sole reference document,” Mr Iddrisu said.
According to the Minority Leader, since 1993, apart from source documents, there has been a provision of a guarantor to guarantee for eligible voters who may not have any of the eligibility documents to get into the register.
Describing the Ghana Card as a “public good”, the Tamale South lawmaker said same was not readily available to Ghanaians.
“There are many Ghanaians who are still struggling to have access to a national identity card. Legitimately, that public good must be made increasingly available to every qualified Ghanaian,” he said.
This current situation, the Minority Leader said, could destabilise the country in 2024 if eligible voters were disenfranchised.
With the current register having 17,041,340 voters on it and only 13,300,000 having been issued with their Ghana cards including foreigners, Mr Iddrisu said the effect was that over four million eligible voters may not get unto the vote roll.
“The use of the Ghana Card as the sole reference justification is unacceptable since many Ghanaians do not have their national identity card and some have not even been given the opportunity to have it.”
He said the plan by the EC to compile a new register “flies in the face” of the commitment by the Commission ahead of the compilation of the 2020 register that no fresh roll would be compiled in the future.
“Given this IMF struggling economy, we do not think we should be spending more money in the compilation of a new voter register,” he said.
The Commission, by law and duty, the Minority Leader said, ought to have conducted limited voter registration exercises in 2021 and 2022, but had failed to undertake such a constitutional exercise.
He said “when John Mahama becomes president again, we intend to deploy a new technology that allows you to walk into any EC office and get registered once you turn 18.”
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI