Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) the governance think-thank, has warned the Jean Mensah-led Electoral Commission (EC) that it is setting up an explosive time bomb by adamantly insisting on compiling a new Voters Register less than one year to the 2020 general elections.
The CDD has questioned the EC’s motive for the push for a new register, particularly given the fact that it cannot start compiling the register until the mandatory population census is concluded around April this year.
Speaking in an interview monitored by Whatsup News, the Director of Public Advocacy and Engagement at CDD, Prof Kojo Pumpuni Asante said there is no way the EC can compile the register until data from the population census have been concluded and factored into the controversial register.
From all estimations, the EC will barely have six months to compile the new register before the general elections. The situation could even be more disastrous with uncertainty clouding the population census.
Incidentally, the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has officially stated that the population census scheduled for March 2020, may be delayed due to on-field challenges.
The Government Statistician, Professor Samuel Kobina Annim, today alerted that the process of collating population data “might delay by a month or two” due to technical challenges.
are alternatives to having to do a new one. The big issue is time because there
is a census in March. Ideally, if there is a census you’ll normally wait for
the census to have the right numbers to estimate how many people you have to
register,” Prof. Pumpuni noted.
“If it comes in March it means it is going to delay when the Voters Register starts. If you’re going to have new machines new systems then it is going to be harder given the time periods and to build confidence going into an election” he said.
CDD is the latest in the growing list of political parties, civil society
groups and individuals who think the EC’s adamant stance is a recipe for
serious disaster run-up to the 2020 elections.
The EC has been accused of ignoring suggestions from the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) and have gone ahead to take unilateral steps, insisting on its independence.
Despite this apparent lurking chaos, the Ghanaian Parliament recently authorised a release of GHC 400 million to the EC Nicodemously.
The election regulator led by Jean Mensah claims that the current voters’ register is bloated and can only be cleaned by compiling an entirely new one.
However, it was that same register that the EC used to recently conduct two successful elections, The District Assemblies election and the referendum for the six new regions. Indeed, independent election observers CODEO issued a report that the biometric system and the register functioned over 90 per cent accurate.
Given the foregoing counter argument against the EC’s reservations against the current register, several civil society groups have vowed to resist the EC’s scheme, suspecting that it was planning to manipulate the system to favour the incumbent party. Some have promised relentless protests, while others have threatened to head to the Supreme Court.
The biggest opposition party-National Democratic Congress (NDC) and several other smaller parties have expressed strong opposition to a new register.