Governance think tank, Centre for Democratic Development-Ghana, has advised the Electoral Commission to consult key stakeholders before going ahead with plans to compile a new electoral roll for the 2020 polls.
The EC announced the decision to compile a new electoral register last week, prompting opposition from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the People’s National Convention (PNC).
According to the EC, the decision to compile a new voter register was arrived at after an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting, although this claim has been dismissed as untrue. NDC says the matter of a new voter register was mentioned in passing.
The EC has said it would go ahead with the decision, stating that IPAC’s advice is not binding.
However, speaking on current affairs programme, PM Express on Tuesday, Dr Franklin Oduro, Director of Programmes and Deputy Executive Director CDD-Ghana, said the EC must strive to engage elections stakeholders adequately before going ahead with its decision to compile a new electoral roll.
“The Electoral Commission has a constitutional mandate to produce a credible election. If in the wisdom of the election management body they feel that one of the ways that it can produce a credible election is to have a new voter register, so be it.
“But for stakeholders – the beneficiaries, the political parties, the citizens, the observers – we need to be convinced. We need to be told the reasons why we need to have a credible register,” he charged.
Dr Franklin Oduro said until the EC provides convincing and research-based justification for its quest for a new electoral roll for the 2020 elections, it may be courting avoidable controversy.
Also speaking on the MultiTV current affairs programme, National Chairman of PNC, Bernard Monarh, said the EC’s posturing on the new voter register was against democratic tenets.
“Listen to the Electoral Commission and you feel like vomiting because the arguments they are making don’t add up,” he said about the EC’s claim that the current register is bloated with names of minors and deceased persons.
He said the EC must state how it will prevent registration of minors in the new roll for the 2020 general election.
“This is an electoral commission that claims that the voter register is bloated by what extent of bloating, they are not capable of saying. They are saying that because of the fact that the biometric features are not functioning properly, the register is not fit for the purpose for election 2020 but it is fit for the district assembly elections, which is an essential aspect of our democratic processes,” he quizzed.