Former President, John Dramani Mahama, says the current arrangement put in place by the Electoral Commission (EC) for the limited registration of voters, will disenfranchise many Ghanaians.
He, therefore, wants the EC to take a second look at the decision to solely carry out the registration at the commission’s district offices.
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) had kicked against the decision saying it will not be in the interest of voters.
Adding his voice to the matter during the third leg of his tour of the Greater Accra region at Chorkor, the NDC Presidential Candidate said; “we want to appeal to the Electoral Commission because if you go to some constituencies, the fact that they are registering in the district office of the EC is a big worry because the distance from some of the electoral areas to the EC’s district office is a very far one.”
“It is going to be difficult for everybody to be able to travel that long distance to go and register. The last time it is was done like that, the registration was a failure because the number that registered was very few.”“If the EC doesn’t listen and goes ahead, the result will be that, they will not be able to capture the numbers that are eligible to register. So the registration should take place in the electoral areas so that more people will go and write their names in the register,” he warned.
According to the party, the entrenched position of the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) to conduct the upcoming limited voter registration exercise was distasteful and a threat to the Commission as an institution.
We won’t disenfranchise anyone in limited registration exercise – EC
Meanwhile, the EC has rejected claims that its intended limited registration exercise at the district level will disenfranchise Ghanaians.
It argued that the plan to organise the registration at the district level falls in line with measures to upgrade its Information Technology (IT) infrastructure.
Deputy EC Chair, Dr. Eric Bossman Asare said there is no cause for alarm as adequate measures have been put in place to get all persons registered.
“This not so much of a problem. When we met last month at our IPAC meeting, we made it clear that the EC was working to review its IT infrastructure. So in order to maximize our resources, we agreed to do an online registration. We are not saying people should not go and register. We even made it clear that if the EC can go the extra mile for people who are living very far and it becomes necessary that the EC must create a certain enabling environment so that they can go to the headquarters of the electoral commission in that district to go and register, we are ready to do that.”
“There are agencies we can team up with, we made all these things known to them that the commission can never disenfranchise anyone. We did acknowledge that, in some district headquarters it will take about 40 miles to get there. These are things the Commission can easily work with the parties, civil society organization to be able to ensure that, all these people are able to register”, he added.
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