Professor Ranford Gyampo, a Political Science lecturer at the University of Ghana has advised the Electoral Commission (EC) to shelve the idea of a new voters’ register for the 2020 elections since it will deepen mistrust between them and opposition parties.
According to him, “grounds for compilation of a new voters’ register are not solid enough even though the commission reserves the right to compile a new roll for the polls and I challenge the EC to prove reasons for an immediate need for a new voters’ register”.
The EC had hinted of plans to compile a new voters’ register for next year’s presidential and parliamentary polls but the main opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has kicked against the decision since there was nothing wrong with the existing register.
Professor Gyampo pointed out that “at this crucial point in the electoral politics of the country, I believe the electoral management board must work hard to erode suspicion rather than putting in place administratively pious policies that deepens suspicion and further dissipate confidence among a section of the opposition and must garner the support of the citizenry and work to rebuild its image.
“However, the EC has the right and power to determine whether we need a new voters’ register or not, even without consulting the political parties, won’t we be undermining the work done by the National Identification Authority?
“If the voters’ register in its current state is good for the upcoming 2019 referendum, it cannot be bad for the 2020 elections since our fundamental law, the 1992 Constitution which provides the supreme legal framework for everything we do, was brought into being by a referendum.
“A referendum is as important as general election, we cannot use an old register for a referendum and compile a new voters’ register for a general election, just a year after the referenda.
“Unless I am convinced there is really an urgent need for a new voters’ register, let’s not waste money, just register those who have turned 18 and move on to focus on other critical areas of electoral reforms and rethink the voters’ register after 2020,” Prof Gyampo suggested.