Lawyer Abraham Amaliba, Director of Legal Affairs of the NDC has stated that the Electoral Commission’s insistence on the use of the Ghana Card as the only required document for voter registration will disenfranchise many eligible voters. He argued that the EC was an administrative body, and as such, it cannot take decisions that will disenfranchise Ghanaians.
“The EC as an administrative body cannot, therefore, put together a law that will disenfranchise somebody who’s 18, somebody who is a Ghanaian and somebody who is of a sound mind.”
According to him, Article 42 of the constitution stipulates who has the right to vote in a public election but the electoral commission.
“So, the starting point of this discussion is Article 42 of the constitution. The right to vote or to register to vote in public elections is regulated by the constitution. And it says that you must be 18 or above, you must be Ghanaian, and you must be of sound mind. It is not the EC that gives us the qualification or eligibility of a person o vote, it’s the constitution.”
Lawyer Amaliba admitted that the argument by the EC to ensure there are no minors or foreigners in the register wasn’t misplaced. He however insisted that an attempt to do that shouldn’t disenfranchise persons who are eligible, desirous and interested to vote.
“The argument put forth by the EC that they want to ensure that there are no minors and there are no foreigners in our register is good but, in an attempt, to do that they have no right to disenfranchise a Ghanaian, particularly if that Ghanaian is desirous, is interested, wants to register and vote.”
He added that the admission of the EC in its presser entreating the NIA to speed up the process of rolling out the cards should prompt the commission about the challenges Ghanaians face in acquiring the card.
“In their own press statement,they ended by saying that they entreat the NIA to speed out the process of rolling out the cards. What does that tell you and me? It means that the EC itself knows about the bottom necks involved in the acquisition of the cards.”
He made these comments while speaking to Mark Smith on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show.
Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Gerard Awombadek Asagi|Ghana