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EC to compile new voters’ register for 2020 elections …But NDC kicks against idea

The Electoral Commission (EC) has stated that it will compile a new voters’ register for the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Stakeholders at Wednesday’s meeting agreed to have a new register compiled.

The decision was arrived at following a stakeholders meeting held under the aegis of the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) on Wednesday.

They have also agreed for the EC to conduct the District Level Elections and Referendum on the same day during the last quarter of 2019.

However, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has rejected the proposal by the EC to compile a new voters’ register for the 2020 elections.

The EC has served notice a new voters’ register will be compiled ahead of the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections.

The Electoral Management Body is currently inspecting offices of political parties, according to a press statement after an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting.

In the statement, Chairperson of the Commission Jean Mensa, detailed modalities to be done before the 2020 elections.

The EC in 2015 rejected proposals for the compilation of a new voters’ register, describing as ‘unconvincing’ calls for that to be done.

It concluded this after it held a forum following heated national debate over the register, after the then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) claimed it had evidence suggesting the register had been compromised with as many as 76,000 non-Ghanaian voters on it.

There were a number of demonstrations, some of which turned violent.

A panel was therefore constituted to solicit opinions from stakeholders on whether or not to compile a new register.

Chairman of the Panel, the late Justice V.C.R.A.C. Crabbe recommended that EC should not replace the voters’ register.

The call for a new voters’ register was made ahead of the 2016 elections which culminated in a series of demonstrations by the Let My Vote Count Alliance. However, due to financial constraints, the EC failed to heed the call.

After meeting stakeholders over the issue, the EC said a new register will be used for the next general elections.

Bede Zeideng, the Director of Elections of the NDC, said the matter of a new voters’ register was just said in passing at the IPAC meeting by the EC chairperson without any concrete deliberations.

“The party will resist any attempt by the EC to push the idea of a new register since there is not enough grounds for the creation of a new one, the NDC does not endorse proposal to develop a new voters’ register to replace the existing one.

“We do not support the compilation of a new voters’ register because there is not enough grounds for it, the law says for a new register to be created, it should be on basis of a census and there is no new census.

“The law says the existing register should have been 10 years or more before a new one can be done and the current one will be 10 years in 2020, there is no basis for a new one,” Mr Zeideng pointed out.

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