THE ASHANTI Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah, says he supports the decision by the Electoral Commission (EC) to compile a new voters’ register.
According to him, the existing voters’ register would disenfranchise millions of Ghanaians who are living in the six newly created regions in the country if a new one is not compiled.
The minister pointed out that the six newly created regions do not have polling stations, district and regional codes to give them the right to vote on December 7, 2020.
He made the observation when he addressed the press in Kumasi.
He recounted that some political parties and their flag bearers were disqualified from taking part in the 2016 national elections because of these ‘unique codes’.
He said “since the six newly created regions don’t have unique codes, it will automatically disqualify people in the new regions from voting.”
“During the 2016 general election, the EC disqualified some parties and their presidential candidates for using wrong polling stations, district and regional codes,” he said, stressing that it is extremely important for the EC to create codes for the new regions since they do not have such codes.
Mr. Osei-Mensah stressed the need for the EC, which has the legal mandate to compile a new voter’s register for the upcoming elections, to do that without any hesitation, adding that compiling a new voters’ register would not breach any law
He said the EC had consistently complained about several irregularities in the existing voter’s register and had called for a new one to be compiled which “I support the EC”.
The minister also noted that the new electoral roll is necessary, because it would make it possible for people living in the six newly created regions to also exercise their franchise.
He said since 1992, the electoral roll that brought the sitting governments were replaced with a new one during the next polls, so the brouhaha about new register should stop.
According to him, since 1992, any register that had been changed would bring the President whose time a new register was compiled into power.
The minister also added, “For instance, President JJ Rawlings in 1996, President JA Kufuor in 2004 and President JEA Mills/ John Dramani Mahama in 2012.”
He said the aforementioned statistics showed that if a new voters’ register is being compiled during President Akufo-Addo’s tenure then it is permissible by the law.
Mr. Osei-Mensah admonished qualified Ghanaians in the Ashanti Region irrespective of their various backgrounds to go and register should the EC open the registration exercise.
FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi