Two think tanks have urged the Electoral Commission (EC) to tread cautiously in order to undertake extensive consultations over its decision to compile a new voters’ register.
They noted that a decision that affected external bodies needed proper consultation to create a forum for them to participate, so that when a decision is taken, there will be collective ownership which is good practices of democracy and good governance.
This follows an explanation by the commission they are not constitutionally mandated to consult political parties in the decision of compiling a new voters’ register after the NDC had opposed the idea.
The EC has served notice it is set to compile a new voters’ register for the next presidential and parliamentary elections.
The think tanks are the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) and IMANI Africa.
They criticised the manner in which the EC made the announcement, which came in a press release, for such an announcement, all parties should be on board and described it as quite a reckless means of communicating a major decision that had not been thought through properly by all parties.
The think tanks questioned how a decision was taken without taking into consideration the normal cost of how proper voters’ registers were done was confounding and expressed worry about issue of costing element which is an important matter, apparently not being adhered to.
Dr Franklin Oduro, Head of Research and Programmes, CDD, while admitting the legal argument of the EC, stressed the need for further consultation.
“The Electoral Commission is an independent body and decisions they take is their sole responsibility, they are not to be consoled by any external body, on the face of the law you will say the Electoral Commission is an independent body and they can take decisions when they feel.
“Those decisions can contribute to credible elections but in governance and democracy, consultation, dialoguing and participation of stakeholders are all part of good governance elements.
Franklin Cudjoe, President of IMANI Africa, intimated that the EC’s decision to compile a new voters’ register for the 2020 general election was reckless saying “the move towards a new register is being rushed given the malcontent from a major stakeholder like the National Democratic Congress, the direction was at odds with its resolve to cut down costs.