Jean Mensa – EC Boss
THE NATIONAL Democratic Congress (NDC) has served notice that it will not allow any attempt by the Electoral Commission (EC) to use the Ghana Card as sole identification document for voter registration ahead of the 2024 elections.
The party said such a decision will disenfranchise many qualified Ghanaian voters.
A statement released recently by the NDC, signed by the National Chairman, Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, which made this known, emphasised, “The party wishes to use this opportunity to remind the Electoral Commission that under Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution, every Ghanaian of eighteen years and above and of sound mind is entitled to register as a voter for the purposes of elections. This right to register and exercise one’s franchise is an inalienable right that should not be denied citizens who qualify to exercise same.”
It continued, “We wish to assure Ghanaians that the NDC will not sit aloof for the NPP government to collude with Electoral Commission to rig the 2024 elections and inflict more pain and hardships on them. We are therefore urging our agitated supporters to remain calm as we take all legitimate and appropriate steps to ensure that they are not disenfranchised.”
“The attention of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has been drawn to news attributed to officials of the Electoral Commission that the Commission has agreed with political parties and civil society organisations that the Ghana Card should be the sole document for the impending limited voter registration exercise.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the NDC wishes to state, unequivocally, that it has not been a party to any such consultation or meeting in whatsoever form that resulted in any such decision.
“The NDC will fully apprise the general public of the implications of the statements made by the Electoral Commission in the coming days on this absurd and unreasonable this decision of the EC,” it added.
In July, the EC placed before Parliament a draft C.I. titled: ‘Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Regulations, 2021’, which is expected to regulate continuous voter registration. Per the new C.I., the EC is seeking to make the Ghana Card the sole form of identification for eligible voters who want to get onto the electoral roll.
The C.I. has been referred to the Subsidiary Legislation Committee of Parliament. By convention, the committee is chaired by a member of the Minority group.
The NDC also said it will not sit aloof and watch the ruling NPP to undermine the 2024 polls with the Electoral Commission, while calling on the EC to shelve the idea of using the Ghana Card as the sole identification document.
“The party agrees with the venerable former chairman of the Electoral Commission of Ghana, Dr. Afari Gyan that any attempt by the EC to use Ghana Card as the sole document for voter registration will lead to the disenfranchisement of millions of Ghanaians. We are not oblivious of the challenges millions of Ghanaians are going through to obtain Ghana Cards. The recent pandemonium that characterised registration centres due to the unrealistic deadlines for SIM registration is a case in point,” it pointed out.
Meanwhile, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan, has advised the outfit against the move.
“It is worthy of note, that according to data from the National Identification Authority (NIA), only 16,654,072 million Ghanaians out of a national population of about 31 million had registered for the Ghana Card as at July 2022. Of this number, only 13,316,612 million of them have been issued with their Ghana Cards. It is obvious from this data, that there are many Ghanaians who have just turned 18 years or will turn 18 years by the next limited registration period who may not have a Ghana Card. And therefore, any decision that seeks to make the Ghana Card the sole identification document for voter registration will disenfranchise many eligible voters,” the NDC stated.
BY Vincent Kubi