Politics

We still oppose new voters register – NDC

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) says its request for the Electoral Commission (EC) to furnish it with the training manuals for voters registration officials and political party agents does not mean the party had accepted the compilation of a new voters register for the 2020 elections.

“What the NDC is interested in and calling for is the limited voter registration to capture new voters and also remove the names of deceased persons from the existing biometric register,” it said. In a letter addressed to the chairperson of the EC and signed by its General Secretary, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the NDC also requested for other documents and forms relevant to the registration exercise.

“The National’ Democratic Congress (NDC) has become aware of an ongoing nationwide training exercise being conducted by the Electoral Commission to prepare its staff to be deployed for the conduct of voter registration prior to the 2020 General Election.

“As a major stakeholder whose agents have important functions to perform during the exercise to ensure its credibility, we are by this letter officially requesting the commission to supply the NDC with the above-named documents and any other material that would enable the party to prepare our agents adequately for same,” it concluded.

But speaking in an interview with the Daily Graphic last Tuesday, Mr Nketia explained that the training and procedures involved in either full scale or limited registration were the same. That, he said, informed the NDC’s decision to request for the training manuals and other documentations to prepare for limited registration. He said the EC was yet to acknowledge or even respond to the request by the NDC.

Training
Mr Nketia said hitherto, the EC organised trainer of trainers workshops for its officials, party officials, security agencies, as well as observers so that all stakeholders would be on the same level playing field when such exercise commences. He said the EC had, however, started training its officials without the other stakeholders, neither had the party received the training manuals which should have been given to political parties even before the training started.

Raging debate
The idea of the compilation of a new register for this year’s election has opened a can of worms and pitched the EC against the NDC and some political parties who hold the view that there is no need for a new register when the current one has no major defects and credibility issues.

They are joined in that position by a coalition of 18 Civil Society Organisations who have also made a case that the compilation of a new register will be a drain on the national coffers, especially when in their view the current register can be used for the conduct of the election. The NPP and a number of political parties also hold the same view with the EC that there is the need for a new register because the current one has credibility issues, including it being bloated.

Source: Graphic.com.gh

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