The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is urging the Electoral Commission (EC) to conduct limited registration exercise instead of the scheduled mass registration exercise.
They argue that the transmission of the coronavirus during limited registration exercise will be lower than compiling a new register.
READ FULL STATEMENT BELOW
KEY HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS PRESS STATEMENT ON THE CLANDESTINE PLOY OF THE JEAN MENSA LED ELECTORAL COMMISSION TO RIG THE 2020 GENERAL ELECTIONS FOR THE NEW PATRIOTIC PARTY IN CONCERT WITH THE NATIONAL IDENTIFICATION AUTHORITY.
21ST MAY, 2020
• At our press conference of May 14, 2020, you would recall that we exposed the grand criminal collusion between the Electoral Commission, the National Identification Authority and the ruling New Patriotic Party to rig the 2020 General Elections for President Akufo Addo.
Since then, we have noted some supposed, pathetic and irrational responses from the Jean Mensa-led EC and the Attaffuah-led NIA to the issues we raised at that press conference.
Rather than address the legitimate concerns we raised, the two state institutions have resorted to blatant falsehoods to obfuscate simple issues and mislead the nation.
• The purpose of today’s press conference is therefore to respond to the several deliberate distortions which have been peddled by the EC and the NIA in their respective statements and help Ghanaians appreciate the seriousness of the concerns we have raised and the dangers that it portends for the country.
• Before proceeding any further, and for the purpose of emphasis, let me re-state the case of the NDC relative to the new CI which has been laid by the EC before the august house of Parliament.
- For the avoidance of doubt, the NDC’s opposition to the EC’s entrenched decision to compile a new voters’ register for the 2020 general elections remains UNCHANGED. We stand by our position that the current voters’ register is credible and that the country does not need a new voters register for this year’s general elections. We are therefore employing all legitimate means to stop the needless, illogical and wasteful new voters register agenda of the Jean Mensah-led EC.
- The crux of the issues we raised at our last press conference is that, the registration requirements provided under the proposed Constitutional Instrument which has been laid in Parliament by the EC (Ghanaian passport, with less than 2 million holders who are 18 years and above or the Ghana card, with just about 6.5 million holders who are 18 years and above) to govern the needless, illogical and wasteful new voter registration exercise they intend to undertake, are too narrow and wholly inadequate for purposes of identifying eligible voters (about 18 million) and that this is part of the grand conspiracy between the EC, NIA and the NPP to disenfranchise over 10 million eligible voters, mostly in NDC strongholds.
For purposes of clarity, the key issues are as follows:
- First, is the issue of the lack of consultations with political parties (IPAC) on the proposed CI before it was laid in Parliament. The claim by the NPP that the proposed CI was discussed at the 25th March IPAC meeting is a concocted barefaced lie, as the matter was neither on the agenda of the said IPAC meeting nor captured in the records of the said meeting as having been discussed. In any case, the proposed CI was laid in Parliament on 17th March, 2020, EIGHT (8) clear days before the 25th March, 2020 IPAC meeting in question. It is therefore preposterous and an insult to the intelligence of Ghanaians for the General Secretary of the NPP to suggest that the proposed CI was discussed at IPAC eight days after it had been laid in Parliament. This is simply an unintelligent lie.
- Second, is the unreasonable and unconstitutional exclusion of the existing voters ID card from the list of registration requirements provided under the proposed CI, contrary to the EC’s own position that it will be used for this year’s voter registration exercise, as captured on slide 27 of their presentation at the 30th January 2020 joint meeting of IPAC, the EC’s Eminent Advisory Committee and CSOs. The point has to be made, that the existing voters ID card is the most widely available identification document in Ghana with over 16 million holders and has been upheld by the Supreme Court of Ghana as the best prima facie evidence of voter eligibility in the Abu Ramadan Case. It is the Identification document with the strictest, most rigorous and transparent acquisition procedure, and has been used in the compilation of all voter registers since the inception of the fourth Republic (1996, 2004 & 2012).
- Third, is the inclusion of the Ghana card whose issuance is incomplete and has been fraught with several anomalies in the list of registration requirements under the proposed CI. This is contrary to the EC’s earlier position that same will not be used for purposes of the year’s voter registration exercise.
- Fourth, is the over-reliance on the secondary identification method of vouching as a norm rather than an exception in breach of international best practice relative to identity management.
Now to the supposed irrational and ridiculous responses from the NIA and EC.
National Identification Authority
Apart from the deliberate distortions contained therein, the NIA’s response has confirmed the NDC’s positon that since 2017, they have registered only 11 million Ghanaians and issued just about 7 million cards (with just about 6.5 million being 18 years and above).
• The NIA could not dispute our claim, that only 5.17% and 6.36% of the registrable population in the Upper West and Upper East Regions respectively, have been issued Ghana Cards as we speak. And that, relying on same for the voter registration exercise they intend to undertake next month, will compel over 93% of eligible voters in these two regions which are strongholds of the NDC to resort to the secondary identification method of vouching as the norm, rather than an exception.
• The NIA again has confirmed our position that the snail pace Ghana Card registration exercise is largely incomplete and that, they are now waiting for the Covid situation in the country to subside so they can embark on a mop-up and card distribution exercise in some regions.
The big question therefore is, why will the Jean Mensah-led EC rely on an identification card (the Ghana card) whose issuance is largely incomplete and fraught with several anomalies and demographic disparities? Why is the Jean Mensah-led EC excluding from the list of registration requirements under the proposed CI, their own widely available and acceptable voters ID card and rather including the Ghana card which is currently possessed by just about 6.5 million Ghanaians (18 years and above); a card which is currently not accepted by any public, private or commercial institution.
• As for the EC’s lame response, the least said about it the better. None of the germane issues raised at our last press conference has been addressed by the EC.
• The commonsensical question that is begging for an answer is why the Jean Mensah led EC excluded the existing voters ID card from the list of registration requirement provided under the proposed CI? Why have they excluded an identification card that has been upheld by the Supreme Court as the best prima facie evidence of voter eligibility?
• Why have they excluded a voter identification card which is the most credible and available form of identification in this country from the list of registration requirements? Save this germane issue, all the other claims of the EC are red herrings which have no bearing or relevance on the issue at stake and should be treated with the contempt it deserves.
As a matter of fact, the wishy-washy responses of the EC, NIA and the NPP to the issues we have raised further exposes the criminal conspiracy between these entities to disenfranchise millions of eligible voters and subvert the will of the people. But the people of this country are discerning and vigilant, and will not allow this attempt to undermine the integrity of this year’s general elections and for that matter our democracy.
We shall employ every legitimate means to resist the attempt to suppress votes and rig the 2020 general elections.