Jonathan Salifu Abdallah, a member of the NDC’s Upper East Regional communication team is worried that the Electoral Commission’s insistence on the use of the Ghana card as the only document for registration onto the voters’ register is a recipe for disaster and could plunge the country into chaos.
The Electoral Commission (EC) has stated that the use of the Ghana Card will help phase out the guarantor system which is often exploited by non-eligible voters.
It noted that the Commission had targeted registering between 450,000 and 550,000 new voters in the continuous voter registration exercise every year.
According to the Commission, “the use of the Ghana Card as the only source of identification for the continuous voters’ registration exercise is the surest way to rid the electoral register of minors and foreigners”.
Addressing a news conference in Accra, Mr Samuel Tettey, Deputy Chairperson of EC in charge of Operations, said the Constitutional Instrument that would govern the continuous registration exercise would be laid before Parliament when the House reconvenes.
But speaking on the Day Break Upper East Show, Mr. Abdallah was unhappy about the EC’s decision.
“This is a move that if not well managed, can plunge this country into chaos. I do not see the reason why I will be 18 years, will be eligible to vote, and meet all the criteria, but because I do not have the Ghana card, which is of course through no fault of mine, I cannot in any way register and vote for a prepared candidate.”
“You know what this means? It means you do not value me as a Ghanaian,” he said.
Mr. Abdallah explained that the EC’s expectation that all eligible voters could have acquired the Ghana card within a certain period is not realistic.
Lawyer Abraham Amaliba, Director of Legal Affairs of the NDC 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.”
He spoke on the Day Break Upper East Show.
Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana