The Inter-Party ResistanceAgainst New Voter Register (IPRAN), has petitioned the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) Commission over the decision of the Electoral Commission (EC) to compile a new voters’ register.
According to IPRAN, the move by the EC to compile a new voters’ roll was in breach of the ECOWAS protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.
Section II Article 2 (1) of Protocol A/SP1/12/01 Democracy and Good Governance, among others, precludes member states from making any substantial modification to electoral laws in the last six (6) months before elections, except with the consent of the major political actors.
The petition jointly signed by the National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo and the Leader and Founder of All Peoples Congress (APC), Dr Hassan Ayariga and copied to the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, asked ECOWAS to intervene on the EC’s move to compile a new voters’ register.
“We…urgently invite the proactive intervention of ECOWAS Commission to use its protocols and mechanisms to compel the EC of Ghana to use dialogue and consensus building on such an important matter as Voters Register to avert conflict and chaos in Ghana,”the statement said.
The petition filed on behalf of Peoples National Convention, NDC, APC, United Freedom Party and EGLE Party said, “Given the high tensions and mutual suspicions presently among the stakeholders ECOWAS should urgently dispatch a fact-finding and mediation team Ghana to engage with the stakeholders especially political parties and the EC and civil society organisations as part of pre-emptive measures targeted at preventing the potential plunge of the country into confusion unnecessary conflict, confusion and anarchy.”
The petition read that the country had over the years developed both formal and informal mechanisms for consensus-building among the major political parties on issues relating to electoral reform, and that approach had been instrumental in foisting a culture of peace and tolerance among various political actors and institutions.
“With presidential and parliamentary elections approaching, we woke up to an announcement from our country’s EC that it had decided to compile a new voters’ register for the 2020 elections. This decision is puzzling for two reasons: first it ignored the time-honoured approach of thorough deliberation and consensus-building among the political parties and other stakeholders and second, it is an affront to and complete disregard for provisions of the Section II Article 2 (1) Protocol A/SP1/12/01 on democracy and good governance.”
The petition said millions of Ghanaian citizens had expressed their disapproval of the decision of the EC to create a new voters register and demonstrated to that effect.
BY TIMES REPORTER