The National Organiser of the governing NPP has refuted suggestions from the NDC that birth certificate has previously been accepted for registering as a voter in Ghana.
Samuel Awuku said the exact contrast is the case.
He says per the Constitutional Instruments (C.I.) which governs the conduct of the country’s elections “birth certificates have never been stated as criteria or proof of eligibility.”
“If you check C.I. 12, C.I. 75 and C.I. 91…these are CIs that govern the conduct of our public elections and the EC’s mandate as well, [it does not state so] he said on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, Friday.
His comments come in reaction to the opposition National Democratic Congress’s persistent attacks on the electoral management body on its decision to compile a new voters’ register.
The NDC is against the compilation of a new register, arguing that there is no need for such an exercise.
The party has even invoked the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, arguing the EC can only compile a voters’ register once and subsequently revise it.
Article 45(a) of the 1992 Constitution states: The Electoral Commission shall have the following functions – (a) to compile the register of voters and revise it at such periods as may be determined by law.
The NDC says this means the EC cannot discard the register and compile a fresh one.
But as the EC’s timeline for the compilation draws close, the NDC is fighting the primary documents the Commission has stated it intends to use.
The documents are the National Identification card (Ghana Card) and a valid Ghanaian passport.
NDC alleges rigging
According to the NDC, this is “a grand scheme” by the National Identification Authority (NIA), the EC and the government to rig the elections in favour of President Akufo-Addo.
The NDC explains that only two million Ghanaians have passports; minors inclusive.
The party further argues only 6.5 million have been registered and issued with the Ghana card, the other primary document.
According to the EC, the Ghana Card registration done in Eastern Region, an NPP stronghold was more rigorous than Volta Region the regions in the north which are NDC favourites.
The NDC says the EC must accept the old voters’ ID and birth certificate since it is a primary document for acquiring the passport and Ghana Card.
All the accused institutions have denied scheming to rig the elections.
Speaking further on the issue, Mr. Awuku says it is already established that unqualified persons are in possession of the current voters’ ID and, therefore, accepting it is not plausible.
The Supreme Court also ordered that persons who registered with NHIA cards should have their names deleted but persons have come out to say the voted in the previous elections with the current ID despite using the NHIA card to register.
This, Awuku says is proof the register has not been cleaned as directed.
On the birth certificates’ argument by the NDC, he says another problem with the document is that it does not have the picture of the individual, making it problematic as an identification document.
The NPP member rounded his arguments, saying that the EC also allows persons with the accepted documents to guarantee for persons without.
The NDC’s argument of persons getting disenfranchised, he indicated, is therefore, far-fetched.