Minors, foreigners have taken advantage of guarantor system – EC

The Electoral Commission (EC) says it has noted with worry the trend where minors and foreigners are taking advantage of the guarantor system in its limited registration exercise.

According to a Deputy Chairperson of the EC, Dr Bossman Asare, the EC continues to see images and receive reports from its officers about minors and other ineligible people registering.

He noted that the unqualified and eligible voters were able to take advantage of the guarantor system with the support of some members of the political parties.

He made this remark during an address to the press on Thursday while giving an update on the ongoing registration exercise so far.

“We have noticed that minors and foreigners have taken advantage of the guarantor system … this must stop,” he said.

According to the Dr Asare, the political parties as key stakeholders, are expected to support the EC to ensure its registers are credible.

He said, “if there are key people who will benefit from the voters register, we strongly believe that political parties will be one of the main beneficiaries.”

He, therefore, issued a stern warning to political parties to immediately stop busing minors to registration centers to take part in the exercise.

Dr Asare said parents must also ensure their children who are not 18 years old do not attempt to register.

“We would like to use this opportunity to dissuade parents who are less than 18 years old from being coerced by anyone to assume a new age and register as a voter because they may find themselves on the wrong side of the law,” he cautioned.

“As a result, the EC shares the strong belief that the guarantor system has outlived its usefulness, adding that the Commission “is convinced that the time is right for a system that every registrant is identified on his or her own merit rather than another person vouching for the age and nationality of that person.”

Against this backdrop, he called on the government to urgently resource the National Identification Authority (NIA) to make Ghana cards available, as that will become the sole document for registering new voters once the EC gets parliament’s approval for its new Constitutional Instrument, C.I.

Dr Asare further urged the media, and civil societies to support the Commission to ensure the laying and passing of the proposed Constitutional Instrument that seeks to make the Ghana Card the only identification material for registering for a voter’s card.

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