Politics of Thursday, 3 January 2019
The country’s largest opposition party, National Democratic Congress has sent a strongly worded statement to the Electoral Commission of their intention to resist any new voters register for the 2020 polls.
The NDC insists attempts by the EC to create new voters register on the back of the Ghana Card will be resisted fiercely.
The party is of the view that there is a deliberate scheme to give the incumbent Akufo-Addo administration undue advantage by disenfranchising people within areas believed to be their strongholds.
They have accused Akufo-Addo of having a hand in the grand scheme of things, manipulating events in his favour, an allegation they claim is reflected by the work of the Commission.
“We wish to serve notice to Jean Mensah and her lieutenants especially Dr. Bossman Asare at the Electoral Commission; that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) will not accept any new electoral register compiled based on the Ghana Card which excludes voter ID cards as a means of identification or registration. If EC Chair once again sees herself as an NPP appointee and feels obliged to act in accordance with the President’s wishes, she would bear full responsibility for any consequences thereof” the party highlighted.
Addressing a press conference at the International Press Conference in Accra on Thursday, Deputy General Secretary of the NDC Peter Boamah Otokunor noted that the EC and National Identification Authority under whose auspices the Ghana Card is being rolled out have been inconsistent.
He questioned the wisdom behind the refusal by the NIA to allow people to register for the Ghana Card with their Voters ID but the same ID was used to verify people for the just ended referenda.
NDC Deputy General Secretary observed, “President Akufo Addo has shown his hand as the driving force behind the move by robustly defending the unreasonable decision of the Ken Attafuah led NIA, not to accept voter ID cards as means of registration. Yet, the same ID cards qualified voters, to vote in the just-ended referenda he called. The President’s haste to give himself an unfair advantage in impending elections has led him to unwittingly question his own legitimacy.”
“We are fully aware that this illogical and bizarre position taken by President Akufo-Addo is aimed at voter suppression in the Volta Region and other strongholds of the NDC where passports and birth certificates are not widespread, while using state resources at his disposal to facilitate the acquisition of passports and birth certificates for people in NPP strongholds to register. The President obviously intends to instruct the Electoral Commission to compile a new voters’ register for the 2020 elections in which he hopes to see reduced numbers in NDC strongholds” he claimed whiles addressing a gathering of media personnel in Accra.
Abysmal referend performance
The party also descended heavily on the Jean Mensa-led Commission for what they called a ‘shambolic’ referenda supervised by them.
The party highlighted several electoral malpractices that characterised the just ended referenda leading to the creation of 6 new regions.
Deputy NDC General Secretary stressed that the performance of the EC bosses smacks of incompetence and the widespread malpractice is a ‘dress rehearsal’ for the 2020 elections.
They believe strongly that the EC is dancing to the tune of the president and has openly shown affection for the governing party, NPP including attending plush parties and displaying pictures taken with its leading members.
Peter Otokunor thus served warning to the EC boss to sit up and ensure the District Assembly elections are free and fair else the NDC will push for her removal from office.
“The NDC wishes to emphasize that the Jean Mensah led Electoral Commission is a looming disaster with the potential to reverse all our nation’s democratic gains. Ghana cannot afford the price of a partial and incompetent Electoral Commission, and the NDC will continue to do everything possible to safeguard the independence and transparency of our state institutions.
We wish, on account of the incompetence displayed the EC, evidence of electoral infractions perpetuated in the referenda, the direct involvement of electoral officials in the massive electoral fraud, to indicate that we will follow closely the performance of the new leadership of the commission in subsequent elections including the District Assembly Elections. A repeat of this shambolic display will leave us no choice than to demand the resignation of Jean Mensah and her team” Deputy NDC General Secretary emphasised.
Opposition National Democratic Congress has issued a gloomy picture ahead of the 2020 elections warning that the country is likely to be thrown into deep chaos.
The party explained that they will do all they can to resist any form of malpractices and show of bias against them by the Electoral Commission.
The party’s position comes on the back of what they insist is the abysmal performance of the EC during the just ended referenda where allegations of widespread malpractices were reported.
In a media interaction on Thursday, Deputy General Secretary of the largest opposition party, Peter Otokunor accused the Electoral Commissioners of doing the bidding of the President and government of the day.
This he noted will receive stiff opposition from the NDC and may result in anarchy the country may never recover from.
The Deputy General Secretary said, “The abysmal and fraudulent conduct of the referenda clearly vindicates our position. This represents a clear and present danger for the future of this country, especially as the 2020 elections approach. The non-partisan nature of the referenda and the convergence of interests in the creation of the regions may have limited and tampered the response of various stakeholders to the manipulation and fraud by EC officials.”
The statement stressed, “It goes without mention, that if such incidents were to be repeated in the 2020 polls, it would result in total chaos and anarchy from which our country may not recover, given the very high stakes that would be at play”
“We wish to make clear and draw the attention of all concerned, including those in the diplomatic community and our development partners, that we in the NDC will not allow or permit the manipulation of the processes leading to the 2020 elections” he added.
ROPAA: No Ghanaian must be left out – NDC
On the issue of ROPAA, the NDC insists that Electoral Commission should roll out the initiative in such a way that no Ghanaian is left out.
Peter Otokunor cautioned that if the EC lacks the capacity to implement the programme as suggested it should not roll it out at all.
He warned the EC not to fall to the dictates of President Akufo-Addo and use this as a medium to manipulate results in the 2020 elections.
“As far as the NDC is concerned, if ever ROPAA is implemented, it should be on an ‘everywhere or nowhere’ principle. In other words, every Ghanaian living everywhere on earth must be afforded the opportunity to vote in the national elections. If President Akufo-Addo and the Electoral Commission perceive this as an opportunity to let only persons living in places where NPP supporters dominate to vote, in order to swing elections in the NPP’s favour, then they are grossly mistaken” the NDC expressed in their press conference.