The right to vote is not to be determined by any institution or individual once the 1992 Constitution of Ghana has set out in strict terms, who has the right to vote. The supposed independence by the Electoral Commission as being used as the last card by Jean Mensah and Dr Bossman Asare, is granted them by the same constitution, and this independence must not be mistaken for arbitrariness.
-The argument advanced by the Electoral Commission relative to a bloated register, by using the voter to population ratio is not only warped, but very weak and doesn’t support the historical antecedents in respect of voting ratios since the 4th republic. History has it that Ghana voter to population ratios have always been high as compared to other African Countries since 1992.
-The Electoral Commission of Ghana has proposed amendments to the existing CI 91-regulation 1…which seeks to use the yet-to-function NIA data and the data from the Passport office as the only identification materials to qualify one as a Ghanaian eligible to register and vote in subsequent elections.
-This is in contravention of the parent law (the 1992 constitution of Ghana), which clearly allows any Ghanaian who is 18 years and above and of sound mind, to register and vote during elections. Any such regulation like the CI 126 is ultra vires and should not be entertained by any Ghanaian irrespective of ones political persuasion.
-It is against this background that, I want to know why the Jean Mensah led EC is so bent on disenfranchising as much as 43% of eligible voters in the Volta Region alone. Why should taxpayers who have suffered to build this country for ages be denied the opportunity to exercise their rights to choose their own leader?
-The EC conducted a limited registration exercise in 2019 which was deliberately suppressed against the existing conventions. But even that, the total voters in the register from the Volta Region stood at 996,370. This was certified by the EC as late as 2019 and captured in the current voter register.
-The NIA registration exercise as conducted in the same Volta Region was fraught with avoidable challenges. The 23 days exercise which began on the 22nd of July, 2019 and ended on the 14th of August, 2019 in about 350 registration centres, got slowed due to questionable network challenges. This happened throughout the 23 days as reported by the media.
-The good people of the region complained bitterly about the slow pace with which the exercise was moving, but the NIA would always come with one excuse over another. In the end, only 568,265 people got registered. Even out of this number, a greater percentage haven’t received their cards yet.
-So, if Ghanaians were to tolerate the Jean Mensah/Dr Bossman led EC’s belligerence and insistence on using only the NIA and/or traveling passport as identification materials, about 428,265 people from the Volta Region alone won’t have an opportunity to register on to the proposed new voters register. Fact is, some of these people have voted since 1992. This number is about 42.9% of the total number of people in the current register, without even adding those who would have turned 18 years after the last limited registration exercise.
-Mind you, the third identification arrangement as proposed on the CI 126, which is the use of a guarantor, is a deliberate attempt to slow the process if this were to be used by these huge numbers of people who won’t have the first opportunity to register. This is a complete suppression of votes in the Volta Region.
-Questions are: why is Jean Mensah and the government of the NPP so bent on compiling a new voters register in the midst of this pandemic? Is the Jean Mensah led EC suggesting that their agenda of rigging the 2020 election for the NPP is worth more than the lives of Ghanaian taxpayers?
-If the new register is to be compiled by hook or crook as Jean Mensah and the NPP government are forcing on Ghanaians, then, let no Ghanaian of age 18 and above and of sound mind, be denied the opportunity to register and to vote in December 2020.
-The 43% of the people of the Volta Region have the right to defend their citizenship and right to vote, and must be ready to do so. Everyone’s vote must be counted and everyone’s voice must be heard.
Source: Thepressradio.com/Ghana/ Issifu Seidu Kudus Gbeadese