Live Updates: Forum on Ghana’s voters register

A forum to debate the arguments for and against the compilation of a new voters’ register for the 2016 general elections is currently underway in Accra.

Justice VCRAC Crabbe is chairman of a five-member committee appointed by the Electoral Commission to oversee the discussions on the matter is chairing the two-day forum at the Alisa Hotel.

Chairperson of the Electoral Commission says it is dangerous for the independent body to take diecsions based on the views expressed by imiment citizens.

Ms. Charlotte Osei opened a public debate on reforms to the voters register to be addressed by political parties and interest groups.

At the heart of the discussion is whether Ghana needs a new voters register or it needs to clean up the current one. The Opposition NPP has been spearheading a campaign to get a new register.

Ghana Institute for Public Policy Options’ Dr Charles Wereko-Brobby starts

He says he has an institutional memory on elections in Ghana. He says he is biased that he is not for a new register or a cleansed register. He believes many are not taking a historical perspective on elections on the current debate.

He says every single register used since 1992 has been bloated. Let’s not worry too much about register if it is bloated. Indeed bother parties have benefitted from bloated regiters. Do we declare the past winners and presidents illegally elected?, he rhetorically asks.

He refers to report in the media that says the U.S are interested in helping with Ghana’s voter’s register. He shows a report that even counties in the US have very bloated registers. He identifies the people not the paper as the ultimate subject that ought to be reformed.

“The human element has the biggest influence in the way in which political parites deliberately seek an advantage”. He says political parties are quick to blame the EC when they believe something has gone wrong.

“We have had new registers,we have had cleansed registers, the difference is the same – bloated registers”

Since every single register has been bloated, he asks why is the current register being singled out?, he asks. He says evidence must be shown and established before any action is taken on the current register.

The proof does not come from the alleging party saying ‘believe me or trust me’. He says evidence is needed to prove that the technical base of the E.C been compromised as alleged by the NPP.

“We need convincing proof that what you are proposing will make things better” Wereko-Brobby says.

He refers to a National Identification Exercise which has stalled. As a country getting to 60 years, it is sad that there is no national database on its citizens.

On dual citizenship, Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby says more clarity is needed if it is claimed by the NPP that Togolese came to Ghana to register or that indeed some Ghanaians are also citizens in Togo.

According to Dr. Charles Wereko Brobby, it is not a simple argument or cleansed register and a new register.


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