The NDC expressed concern about the Commission's decision to deny the party a copy of the 2019 provisional register

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the North East Region, has accused the Electoral Commission (EC) of violating its own Public Elections Regulations (C.I.91), with respect to how the ongoing exhibition of the Voters Register is being handled. 

The party said challenges confronting the exercise are causing so much frustration to prospective and registered voters across the region and a possible threat of having many voters disenfranchised through no fault of theirs. 

Based on provisions in the C.I. 91, the EC was to provide a provisional register of voters alongside the old register compiled in 2016 for voters to check out their details in the registers and showing the photographs of each person whose application for registration was accepted at a registration centre. 

The C.I. also mandates the Commission to provide copies of the provisional register to each registered political party for monitoring purposes and also make available procedures for certifying the register through the automatic fingerprint identification system. 

However, speaking at a news conference in Nalerigu on Saturday, the NDC described planning and organisation of the ongoing exercise as “shoddy” and “clumsy” and called on the Chair of the Electoral Commission, Mrs Jean Mensa, to as a matter of transparency, take every step necessary to rectify all anomalies associated with the Voters Register, especially in the North East region.

Regional Secretary of the party, Ibrahim Tia, said the glaring challenges of the exercise, which he claims the EC has refused to address, threatens free, fair and transparent elections in the area. 

According to the secretary, majority of those who have visited their centres can neither find their names on the Voters Registers nor addresses, a situation which the party is blaming on the decision by the EC to combine the 2016 and 2019 registers.

He said reports coming from Kasape in the Langbinsi zone in the East Mamaprusi Municipality and Zangu in the Walewale constituency, indicated that, about 600 names were missing in the respective exhibited registers in the centres.  

The party claims also that, potential new voters who took part in the last registration exercise could not also find their names in the registers and there were no verification devices or any other accepted form of verification for those who cannot find their names where they registered. 

The party also raised alarm over what it says is the inaction of the EC towards challenged forms filed against certain individuals in the last registration exercise.

It further expressed concern about the Commission’s decision to deny the party a copy of the 2019 provisional register. 

The party urged all other stakeholders including the Diplomatic Corps and Civil Society Organisations to take a keen interest in the ongoing exhibition exercise and asked the EC to rectify the identified flaws which, if not attended to promptly, would have the capacity to mar the outcome of the 2020 general election.

Source: Ghana | Joy News | Eliasu Tanko