Parliament by a majority decision, 106 – 92 has approved the recommendation of the Subsidiary Legislation Committee to adopt its report on the Constitutional Instrument (C.I. 126), which is to give the legal backing to the Electoral Commission’s (EC) plans to compile a new voter’s register.
The C.I. 126, which makes the Ghana Card and the Ghanaian passport the only legal identification documents for registering people in the new biometric voters’ register, was first laid before the House on March 16, this year but was withdrawn and re-laid on two occasions after the Subsidiary Legislation Committee detected some defects in the Instrument on those occasions.
Under the C.I. 126, those who do not have the Ghana Card or Ghanaian passport can still register provided they are able to get two already registered voters to vouch for them. The last time the C.I. was re-laid in Parliament was on March 31, 2020.
The approval in Parliament on Tuesday by majority decision, therefore, allows the C.I. 126 to come into force on Wednesday, June 10, 2020, after 21 sitting days. This, therefore gives the Electoral Commission the greenlight to go ahead and compile the new voters’ register by using only the Ghanaian passport or Ghana Card as the documents for citizenship identification.
Vote by ballot
Earlier Tuesday, Parliament by a voice vote approved the recommendation of the Subsidiary Legislation Committee. But the Minority called for a vote by ballot to be cast to determine those in favour that the House adopts the report.
Individual Members of Parliament (MPs) were called one after the other to cast their votes under the supervision of parliamentary clerks and leadership from both sides of the House. After the vote, the report was approved by a majority decision of 106-92 votes.