The Electoral Commission (EC) is expected to kickstart the voter registration exercise by the end of June.
The decision is believed to have taken on May 27, 2020 during the InterParty Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting which the largest opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) boycotted.
In a roadmap released by the EC for elections 2020, it was indicated that “the new voter registration exercise is scheduled to begin by the end of June (the last week of June) by which time the C.I which is currently before Parliament would have matured.
According to the roadmap, the nationwide voter registration exercise is expected to last for 40 days, subject to review.
“In line with the requirements of the law, political parties will be informed of the exact date not later than 21 days before the start of the exercise.”
The EC has procured all the necessary technology/equipment for the nationwide registration exercise and has begun training its officials across the country in readiness for the exercise, according to the Commission.
“The EC informed IPAC that all is set for the deployment of a new biometric voter registration technology which will lead to the compilation of a new voters register, without which the December 7 elections cannot be held.”
Owing to the Covid-19 situation and the need to adhere to the health protocols, the EC says it has procured enough PPE, and is committed to rolling out the necessary protocols towards a safe and secure 2020 voter registration exercise, which it had already made public.
The previous minutes of the IPAC meeting held on March 25 which was read at the meeting showed clearly that an extensive discussion was held on EC’s preparations towards the impending nationwide voter registration exercise.
The minutes stated in parts, “The Deputy Chairman in charge of Operations, Mr Samuel Tettey, stated that the main purpose of the IPAC meeting was to brief stakeholders on the Commission’s preparations towards the impending nationwide Biometric Voters Registration Exercise”.
“The minutes also spoke to the contributions made by representatives of the political parties for incorporation into the C. I which had, at the time, been withdrawn from Parliament, and brought to IPAC. “
“It was consequent to this 25th March meeting, according to the EC, that the CI was re-laid in Parliament on 31st March, after the Commission had included the suggestions made by the political parties that attended the 25th March IPAC meeting.”
“This is in sharp contrast with the claims by the NDC, which, even though boycotted this 25th March meeting, yet claimed that the EC did not consult political parties before it laid the current C.I. in parliament.”
“The NDC has again boycotted today’s IPAC meeting even though they were officially invited. Obviously, the NDC prefers to make their case in the media rather than at IPAC meeting,” the EC says.
By Melvin Tarlue