EC cited for breaching CI 72

The Centre for African Democratic Affairs (CADA) has said the Electoral Com­mission’s (EC) effort to sanitise the voters’ regis­ter by deleting multiple names from the voters’ register was unlawful and illegal.

“Multiple registrations are an offense under Cl 72 and people who engage in such a practice must be prosecuted in the court of law.

“The EC may have all the necessary facts and good intentions, but it has no legal authority to pro­nounce anyone guilty of an offence of multiple registra­tions and consequently re­move his or her name from the voters” register,” Frank Adarkwah-Yiadom, CADA Executive Director, stated in a statement to the Ghana News Agency in Accra.

The CADA statement noted that whether or not one was guilty of such an offence should be deter­mined by the court of law in Ghana after a fair hear­ing.

“It is based on the deter­mination by the court that the EC can delete names or otherwise.

“Failure to prosecute of­fenders amounts to removal of the deterrent factor which will discourage peo­ple who may harbour plans of engaging in such prac­tices in the future,” the statement stated.

CADA, therefore, wishes to remind the EC that election administration is a serious business which has no place for arbitrari­ness no matter how good the intentions may be.

“We urge the EC to play by the rules and regulations governing the conduct of elections in Ghana to serve as an example to other stakeholders,” the state­ment stated.

According to CADA, one of the problems with the existing Ghanaian vot­ers’ register is the multiple registrations.

The statement explained that the multiple registra­tions occurred when one person has his or her details (demographic and biomet­ric) appearing more than once in the voters’ register.

Reasons for multiple registrations could be inten­tional or unintentional, but whatever the case may be, the fact is that multiple reg­istration is an electoral of­fence in Ghana.

In fact, Regulation 27 (b) and (s) of the Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Regulations, 2012, C.l.72, clearly states that any person who registers as a voter more than once ei­ther at the same registration centre or at different regis­tration centres commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not more than five hun­dred penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not more than two years or to both.

“CADA believes that the biometric technology used to compile the existing reg­ister is able to identify all multiple registrations through matching of one’s biometric details with the rest of the voters nation­wide,” the statement said.

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