Parliament has approved the Constitutional Instrument (CI) that would empower the Electoral Commission (EC) to reject the existing voter identification card in the impending voter registration exercise.
Out of the 198 MPs who were present in the Chamber, 106 from the Majority side voted in favour while 92 Minority members voted against it.
The decision to conduct a vote followed a request by the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu for a division, which the Speaker granted.
The MPs were called one after the other to cast their ballot for or against the C.I. that has been rejected by the Minority.
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Led by their leader Mr Iddrisu, they believe the C.I. will disenfranchise many Ghanaians who do not have a passport or Ghana Card – as the new requirements demand – before they can register to vote in the December 2020 elections.
He said the C.I. will spell doom for the country’s democracy and they will hold the Electoral Commission officials pushing for its approval responsible for any future occurrences.
The EC has consistently defended its decision to compile a new voters’ register for the December polls with the new requirements.
In a 31-page written legal argument to the Supreme Court said the existing voter register which was compiled in 2012 and revised since by limited exercises has been held by the apex court as not being reasonably credible.
The EC makes references to the cases of Abu Ramadan and Another v. the Electoral Commisusin and another and Kwasi Danso Acheampong v the Electoral Commission and other.
It argued that the two cases raised questions about the existing voters to register with one holding that using the National Health Insurance card to get on the register was contrary to law.
The Commission says this means “the credibility of the register compiled pursuant to C.I. remains in doubt save the registrations done with the voter identification cards before the coming into effect of C.I. 72”.
The commission then says this decision raises the presumption of credibility in Favour of the voter cards issued before C.I.72.
It, however, says the registration law used prior to C.I 72 had no identification requirement.
It says the law required no proof of citizenship and no proof of age. “…the grand parenting” of voters identification procured under C.I 12 can never be remedied”, the Commission added.