The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Jean Mensah has said that the compilation of a new voters’ register will prevent the manipulation of the 2020 polls.
Jean Mensah was speaking at a forum in Accra organized by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Ghana.
She argued that the compilation of a new voters’ register is motivated by the Commission’s desire to ensure a credible general election.
“A bloat in our register could have dire consequences for any election and as a people, we should go to an election with a mindset that it has to be credible. We should leave no room for manipulation and I believe that that is the essence of a biometric register.”
“It is our desire that we leave no room for manipulation at the polling stations because, under the current situation, any manipulation could have dire consequences for our election in the sense that it could change the outcome of an election and these are some of the reasons that informed our decision to compile a new register,” she added.
Since the EC made its intentions to compile a new register public, various civil society organisations and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) have criticised the move.
However, the EC seems to be bent on compiling the register irrespective of the agitations.
The NDC is currently in court challenging the EC on the exclusion of the old voters’ ID.
The EC presented the Public Election (Amendment) Regulation, 2020 (C.I. 126) to Parliament to amend C.I. 91 to change the current identification requirements.
On June 9, Parliament subsequently voted to allow the EC to use the Ghana Card and Passports as the only forms of identification for persons registering to vote after relevant Constitutional Instrument had matured.
The NDC argued that this amendment will leave many eligible Ghanaians without a voters’ ID, therefore, disenfranchising them.
The EC submitted its legal justification for the amendment and described the old voter ID as “fruit from a poisoned tree” and a breach of Article 42 of the constitution, which defines who is qualified to register to vote.
The EC cited the court’s judgement in the Abu Ramadan case, where it stated that it is inconsistent Article 42 of the constitution to register a voter with the National Health Insurance Card.