President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged all eligible voters to participate in the new voters’ registration exercise which begins today, while observing the coronavirus (COVID-19) safety protocols at the registration centres.
In a televised address to the nation last night, the President appealed to Ghanaians not to allow the fear of the pandemic to prevent them from participating in the exercise which will give them the right to vote in the general elections on December 7.
He said despite the outbreak of the COVID-19, elections have been successfully conducted in Asia, Europe and Africa, adding that “it is not beyond Ghana to join these nations to organise a successful election even in the midst of a pandemic”.
President Akufo-Addo entreated Ghanaians who have turned 18 and of sound mind to participate in the exercise and strictly adhere to the safety protocols and restrictions, especially the protocols regarding gatherings.
“It is important that all eligible voters register so that they can vote to choose their President and Members of Parliament,” he said and expressed optimism that the exercise and the upcoming election will consolidate Ghana’s democratic records on the continent.
President Akufo-Addo dismissed suggestions that the upcoming elections be rescheduled to a future date due to the outbreak of the pandemic, arguing that the country’s constitution makes no provision for the extension of the mandate of a President under any circumstance.
On the ruling by the Supreme Court last Thursday which gave the EC the green light to conduct the registration, the President said the ruling has reiterated that a credible electoral register and election is important to securing a future wellbeing of any democratic nation.
He entreated persons who do not meet the requirements to vote to desist from participating in the registration exercise, adding that anyone who is not eligible to vote but attempts to register, or anyone who assists such persons will be made to face the law.
Touching on the deployment of military personnel on the country’s borders, the President indicated that the military has since February last year been making such deployments to protect the country’s borders from terrorists.
Also, he said the military has been assisting the Immigration Service to secure the country’s borders which were closed in March due to the outbreak of the COVID- 19.
He said their deployment is neither a move to intimidate people from participating in the registration exercise nor part of any machination to rig the upcoming election.
“I have no interest in disenfranchising any Ghanaian,” he said and urged all Ghanaians who are 18 years and of sound mind to register.
President Akufo-Addo urged eligible voters to present a passport or Ghana Card to register and, in the absence of the two documents, submit a completed identification guarantee form endorsed by two registered voters.