Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu has wondered why the Electoral Commission is bent on throwing away the current register of voters for a new one ahead of the 2020 polls.
“A credible voter register is a requirement for free and fair elections, so, what is wrong with our current register if it was currently used for some elections?” The Tamale South MP wondered when he took part in a demonstration against the registered in Tamale on Saturday, 11 January 2020.
“Is this not the same register that produced Nana Addo as President of Ghana? Should we question his legitimacy? Is that what the EC wants us to do? If he [President Akufo-Addo] thinks that he was not produced by a credible register, then he should advise himself.
“Is it also not the same register that was used for the creation of the new regions and for the district level elections, therefore, if the EC wants, they can revise and add the facial recognition part to it and not just throw the old one away.
“We are saying no to a new register because the time is inappropriate”, Mr Iddrisu noted.
Meanwhile, The Director of Elections at the EC, Dr Serebour Quarcoo, has said the election management body will work with its own laid-down plans and programmes ahead of this year’s elections.
Dr Quarcoo said the 1992 Constitution empowers the EC to undertake activities including the compilation of a new electoral register to ensure that elections are free, fair and credible.
He, therefore, said the EC will not be swayed by what some people think is best for Ghana because “at the end of the day, people will judge us based on the decisions we took and not what people thought about us.”
Dr Quarcoo’s comment comes after a group of parties and individuals including the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) called on the EC to abrogate its plans to compile a new register for the December elections.
Addressing a public forum on the new voter register in Accra on Thursday, 9 January 2020 organised by the group, the Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper, Mr Kwesi Pratt Jr., said: “Whatever we do, the 2020 elections is an important phase in our struggle. If that election is conducted freely and fairly, we must accept whoever is declared winner, but if that election is conducted in the ‘conie-conie’ way we are beginning to see, we’ll not accept the result.
“Comrades and friends, this is not rabble-rousing, this is upholding the Constitution because the Constitution enjoins all of us to make sure that nobody employs any hanky-panky way in assuming power in this country, that’s a constitutional injunction”.
But Dr Quarcoo told Kwabena Prah Jnr (The Don) on Ghana Yen Som on Accra 100.5FM that: “The EC will go ahead with the plans to compile a new register.”
“We have our plans and programmes, people can decide to agree or disagree but we believe our plans are good for Ghana’s elections.
“The Constitution gives us the mandate to compile a new register and, so, we will go ahead. At the end of the day, people will judge us based on the decision that we took and not what people thought about us, so, we’ll work with our plan and programme and not what people think.
“If what some people are calling for won’t help us, we won’t work with it,” he added.