EC must face trial over ‘eyesore’ voter ID cards – UCC lecturer

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A Senior Lecturer at the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Jonathan Asante Otchere, is calling for an urgent probe into the activities of the current Commissioners of the Electoral Commission, Ghana (EC).

Speaking on ‘Decision 2020’, a political show on 3FM on Sunday, the Senior Lecturer said there is no significant difference between the numbers the EC says it has registered so far and those in the old register.

According to the EC, it has registered some 16.63 million Ghanaians as of Friday, August 7.

It further said this is lower than the 20 million Ghanaians projected to be on the old register. The EC is therefore convinced it was justified to have called for a new register.

But according to Mr Asante Otchere, it was wrong, first of all, to conceive the idea of compiling a new register.

“I have never been in favour of a compilation of a new register. When you look at the previous register and the new one, it is much ado about nothing. There is no significant difference. The numbers don’t even add up.”

But asked whether he is disputing the EC register and the figures, Mr Asante Otchere said: “The problem is that the country doesn’t have the population and housing census in place yet. So if you look at what has happened and the EC says they have achieved their target, it is like placing the cart before the horse.

“I am of the view that as much as they want to compile a register and if you look at what they have given us do you think this is value for money? The 2012 card was much solid and better compared to what we have now.”

He was convinced that but for voter suppression, the numbers would have even gone up.

He, therefore, wants the EC’s top brass to be probed for causing financial loss to the state.

“I think the current EC must be probed because the quality of the print-out they have given us is an eyesore. And we need to complain about that. In this age and time you compile a registration card such as this? Look at the NIA card, look at the drivers’ license even [the National] Health Insurance [cards] and you look at the money they were given and woefully spent and you want to tell me these people should not be probed? This particular set or group of commissioners must be probed,” he stressed.

Prior to the 2016 elections, the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), then in opposition, pushed for a new voters register on grounds the existing register was bloated but the EC rejected their proposal.

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