Dr Franklin Oduro, Deputy Executive Director of the Centre for Democratic Development-Ghana (CDD-Ghana), has urged the Electoral Commission (EC) to strive to engage electoral stakeholders adequately before going ahead with its decision on a new electoral roll.
“The Electoral Commission has a constitutional mandate to produce a credible election, if in the wisdom of the election management body they feel one of the ways it can produce a credible election is to have a new voters’ register so be it,” he stressed.
Dr Oduro, who is also the Director of Programmes at CDD-Ghana, advised the EC to consult key stakeholders before going ahead with plans to compile a new electoral roll for the 2020 polls.
“But for stakeholders, the beneficiaries, the political parties, the citizenry and the observers need to be convinced, we need to be told the reasons why we need to have a credible register, until the EC provides convincing and research-based justification for its quest for a new electoral roll for the 2020 elections, it may be courting avoidable controversy,” he cautioned.
The EC announced the decision to compile a new electoral register, prompting opposition from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the People’s National Convention (PNC).
According to the EC, the decision to compile a new voters’ register was arrived at after an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC), although the claim has been dismissed as untrue but the NDC insists the matter of a new voters’ register was mentioned in passing and has stated it will go ahead with the decision, stating IPAC’s advice is not binding.
Bernard Mornah, National Chairman of PNC, said the EC’s posturing on the new electoral roll was against democratic tenets adding that “listen to the electoral commission and you feel like vomiting because the arguments they are adducing don’t add up, about the claim the current register was bloated with names of minors and deceased persons.
“The EC must state how it will prevent registration of minors in the new roll for the 2020 general election, this is an electoral commission that claims the voters’ register is bloated by what extent of bloating, they are not capable of saying.
“They are saying because the biometric features are not functioning properly, the register is not fit for purpose for the 2020 elections but it is fit for purpose for the district assembly elections which is an essential aspect of our democratic processes,” Mr Mornah quizzed.