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Limiting it to district offices meant to prevent Togolese, others from registering – EC

The Director of Electoral Services at the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) Dr Serebuor Quaicoe has defended the EC’s decision to restrict the limited Voter Registration exercise to its district offices, explaining that rather than a way of suppressing voter registration, the aim is to prevent foreigners from getting onto the sacred voters’ register.

Dr Quaicoe, who has expertise in elections, especially in Sub-saharan Africa and holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Cape Coast, noted that with the district offices, foreigners will be afraid to go there to register or will be easily identified and prevented from registering, unlike at decentralised places like electoral areas where the EC will be incapacitated in identifying these foreigners and flushing them out.

He added that just like his boss, the Chairperson of the EC Jean Mensa, did when she was the head of a civil society organization, it is easier to advocate for the decentralisation of the registration process but in practice limiting it to the district offices will prevent foreigners from registering, thereby protecting the sanctity of the Voters’ Register.

He mounted the defence of the EC’s decision on Multimedia’s Newsfile programme today, Saturday, September 16, 2023.

“For the media and the CSOs, your attention is: Register them! Register them! Register them! That is the focus of the media and the CSOs. And probably, that may be the reason why maybe you’re quoting my chair, at that time when she was the leader of a CSO.

“But when you come into the kitchen that is where you see that your responsibility changes.

The thinking of the Commission is that it is to register people and also to protect the sanctity of the register. That is very, very important that nobody is talking about. You’re going to compile the voters’ register that would be used to determine who leads Ghana on all fronts. What goes into the register should be something that should not bring about issues,” he explained.

The limited Voter Registration exercise is currently taking place at the 268 district offices of the EC. The exercise, which began on September 12, 2023, will come to a close on October 2, 2023.

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