Minority cries foul over proposal by EC

A new proposal by the Electoral Commission(EC) that allows a registered voter to vouch for people who cannot prove that they are Ghanaians during registration for elections has been rejected by the Minority.

The Minority is of the view that the result of the proposal would be a recipe for disaster.

The Vice-Chairman of the Subsidiary Legislation Committee of Parliament, Mr Kofi Osei-Ameyaw, expressed the Minority’s dissatisfaction with the proposal which is among several other provisions contained in Constitutional Instrument (CI) 72 currently being discussed by the committee.

NPP’s case
‘If one person is going to vouch for five people, it means that a person is going to bring in five registered members.

‘That is expansionist. One person has the power to bring five people. If that person is corrupt, they can vouch for five people and get guarantees. On the form that would be guaranteed, the fingerprints on it are not verifiable.’

‘Somebody can sit in an office, print a lot of them and insert them. There is no control mechanism associated with the proposal,’ the Asuogyaman Constituency New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament said.

With the EC preparing to register voters for limited registration, the identification of potential voters may become an issue.

The Supreme Court in 2014 scrapped the use of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) cards for voter identification, leaving the options of passports, driver’s licence, passport and birth certificates for the exercise.

According to myjoyonline, under the new regulation proposed by the EC, a registered voter has to fill a form to guarantee for up to five others whose citizenships are difficult to determine.

But an unhappy Mr Osei-Ameyaw questioned the motive, ‘This is an open recipe for disaster. Why should we sell our sovereignty, why should we compromise our resources by creating a loophole that would open the floodgate for all kinds of people for electioneering expediency,’ he said.

The NPP claimed last year that the new register was filled with more than 70,000 people from Togo—an allegation it made after it said the party ran the Ghana and Togo registers through a facial recognition technology.

The Minority is also up in arms against regulations demanding that political parties provide the names of their agents seven days before the election day.

But Mr Osei-Ameyaw observed that such a move would result in party agents being compromised by opposing parties, adding that the identities of party agents were part of a party election strategy to win elections.

NDC responds
But responding to the NPP position, Mr Koku Anyidoho, the Deputy General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), said perhaps the only thing that would assuage the fears of the NPP was for its flag bearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and the party’s running mate, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, to be the EC chairman and deputy respectively.

‘When they lose then they will accept the verdict because at this point, the NPP is just stepping on the will of Ghanaians as if they don’t have a choice to make.’

He said Ghanaians had made their choice in elections since 1992 and wondered why the NPP was shouting over nothing.

He said the NPP was making demands that were acceptable only within the party’s circles.

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