The Minority in Parliament says it will not back down on their opposition to the proposed Constitutional Instrument (CI) which seeks to make the Ghana Card the sole document for the purpose of registration as a voter.
The caucus said if they allowed the CI to pass, millions of Ghanaians would be disenfranchised in the 2024 election because they do not have the document.
As part of measures to up its opposition to the CI, the caucus said it would in the coming days engage a broad base of Ghanaians to explain to them the repercussions on the country’s democracy if the CI is not rejected.
“This (broad base engagement) will afford us an opportunity to further explain these issues for the understanding of the Ghanaian populace.
“Given the critical nature of the issue at stake, and the potential of this C.I to undermine our democracy and thereby disturb the peace and security of our country, the Minority group will in the coming days be engaging a broad spectrum of stakeholders, including our development partners, faith-based organisations, traditional authorities and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to get them to appreciate the issues at stake and the consequences this bodes for Ghana’s democracy and stability,” Minority Leader, Dr Ato Forson, told the press in Accra yesterday.
The media engagement comes a day after the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mrs Jean Adukwei Mensa, briefed the House on the CI.
Mrs Mensa told Parliament’s Committee of the Whole that contrary to fears of the Minority, the proposed CI would rather enhance the credibility of the Ghanaian voter register.
She said it would engender confidence in the electoral process and make the registration of voters a continuous one.
“I wish to emphasise that this CI and its provisions are not aimed at disenfranchising eligible Ghanaians.
“The continuous registration process will be inclusive as it will make it possible to capture all those who would otherwise have been excluded in a Limited Registration Process.
“The use of the Ghana Card as the sole means of identification will prevent foreigners and minors from getting onto our voters register.
“More especially it will prevent unqualified persons from influencing our elections and having a say as to who should govern our country,” she told the Committee.
But the Minority said the proposed CI would restrict the realisation of Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution.
It states that “every citizen of Ghana of 18 years or above and of sound mind has the right to vote and is entitled to be registered as a voter for the purposes of public elections and referenda.”
In view of the above provision, Dr Forson argued that “what Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution requires is evidence of citizenship and not evidence or proof of identification. Any evidence of citizenship should therefore qualify a person to be registered.”
To this end, he said his side of the House would not back the CI and would do everything legally permitted to ensure it did not pass the scrutiny of the legislature.
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI