General News of Saturday, 5 January 2019
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has vowed to resist any attempt by the Electoral Commission (EC) to introduce a new voters’ register for the 2020 general elections.
NDC, which gave the warning at a press conference held at the Accra International Press Centre on Thursday in Accra, insisted that any attempt by the EC, headed by Jean Mensa, to compile a new voter’s register on the back of Ghana Card would be resisted.
According to the party, “We wish to serve notice to Jean Mensa 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.”
A Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, Peter Boamah Otokunor, who addressed the media, indicated that the National Identification Authority (NIA) and the EC have been inconsistent with the Ghana Card.
The Deputy Secretary wondered why the NIA refused to permit people to register for the Ghana Card with their Voters ID when same was used to verify people during the just-ended referenda for the creation of new regions.
The NDC also accused President Akufo-Addo of scheming to compile a new register for the 2020 general elections.
According to the Deputy General Secretary, “President Akufo-Addo has shown his hand as the driving force behind the move by robustly defending the unreasonable decision of the Prof Ken Attafuah led NIA, not to accept voter ID cards as means of registration.”
He added that “yet the same ID cards qualified voters to vote in the just-ended referenda. The President’s haste to give himself an unfair advantage in impending elections has led him to unwittingly question his own legitimacy.”
He stated emphatically that “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 the NPP’s strongholds to register.”
The Deputy General Secretary said that “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 stronghold.”
According to Mr. Otokunor, there would be chaos and anarchy if the EC allows ‘irregularities’ and ‘fraud’ in the 2020 general elections.
He claimed the just-ended referenda that saw the creation of six additional regions were fraught with fraud and irregularities but the EC permitted them.
“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,” he added.
Meanwhile, NDC has condemned the Jean Mensa-led Electoral Commission for what it termed ‘shambolic’ referenda supervised by the commission.
The party highlighted several electoral malpractices that characterised the just-ended referenda that led to the creation of six new regions.
The party argued that the performance of the EC commissioners smacks of incompetence and that the widespread malpractice is a ‘dress rehearsal’ for the 2020 elections.
“Jean Mensah as chairperson of the Electoral Commission and her deputies, especially Dr. Eric Bossman Asare, have completely bungled their first assignment in their indecent haste to impress President Akufo-Addo.”
“Undoubtedly, the conduct of the Electoral Commission leaves one with the impression that Jean Mensah and her deputies consider themselves as NPP appointees with the same mandate as others appointed by the President and appear prepared to carry out his wishes.”