The Electoral Commission (EC) has in a no holds-barred statement punctured numerous holes in the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) press conference last week which sought to throw spanners in the works of the commission.
By the time the commission had exhausted the bullet point treatment of the NDC’s whining accusations, it had succeeded in describing the opposition statement as falling short of integrity.
Before employing empirical evidence to deflect the NDC charges, the commission informed the party that it is aware of its peddling of untruths, with the objective of causing for it disaffection among Ghanaians.
The EC pointed out that it is impossible to conspire to rig elections under the prevailing circumstances because, as the commission pointed out, all the processes are transparent.
As an independent body charged with the conduct of free and fair elections, the commission gave an assurance that it would undertake its assignment without fear or favour.
This appears to be a direct response to the NDC’s now faded chaos-mongering should its wish not be done as it continues to oppose the compilation of a new voters’ register.
On the NDC claim that the commission seeks to disenfranchise some Ghanaians through a rather demanding requirement for qualification to register, the commission demurred pointing out that “the EC found it imperative to amend the CI 91 which is currently in Parliament for applicants to resort to the use of the Ghana Passport and the Ghana Card to aid in the registration.”
Puncturing a hole in the NDC claim that the foregone is an attempt at suppressing votes, the commission explained that in the absence of a passport and Ghana Card, a guarantor, as per the CI, can guarantee for 10 persons instead of the five persons as in the current CI.
The commission maintained that this “makes it possible for applicants without Ghana Card and passport to register.”
Regarding the allusion of the NDC regarding Commissioners of Oath in the process, the EC stated “the commission does not need Commissioners of Oath during the registration as alluded to by NDC Chairman Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo.”
Continuing, the commission stated, “It must be put on record that the Ghana Card has been a requirement in the current CI since 2012.”
The EC said the birth certificate which was part of the issues the NDC raised in their press conference “has never been a requirement since 1995 because it does not contain a photograph for the purposes of identification.”
In their further attempt at casting the image of the commission in bad light, the NDC pointed at unsubstantiated illegality in the choice of a vendor, a claim the EC described as untrue.
“No illegality has been perpetuated in respect of the selection of Thales (DIS) as the vendor since all the relevant processes were executed in strict adherence to the procurement laws and in a transparent manner.”
One of the issues the NDC raised bordered on the NIA to which the EC pointed out that irrespective of the fact that it expressed intention of using NIA data for the compilation of a future voters’ register “this does not by any stretch of imagination preclude the use of the Ghana Card as a requirement for the upcoming registration exercise as it has also been a requirement under the CI since 2012.”
The commission dismissed the NDC fears that the cluster system during the registration would lead to overcrowding, stating that a similar system was used in the 2012 exercise and there was no overcrowding.
The EC repeated its assurance that it would adhere to the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and Ministry of Health hygiene protocols in all the exercises that it would undertake to ensure the safety of Ghanaians.
The NDC’s objective of scaring the EC and Ghanaians at large is falling flat on the face, with the commission’s determination as contained in its response to perform its assignment without fear or favour.
By A.R. Gomda