The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mrs Jean Mensa and her deputies have come under increasing pressure for state authorities to arrest and prosecute them for causing financial loss to the state to the tune of GHC 400 million.
Leading the charge to have the EC boss prosecuted is the governance think-tank Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA), IMANI-Africa, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), among others.
The EC, against all caution and warnings from civil society groups, political parties and a cross-section of the public, had arm-twisted the Ghanaian Parliament and also caused the Supreme Court to allow it compile an entirely new voters’ register, arguing that the old register was compromised with minors and foreigners.
The EC claimed it was procuring superior biometric systems that will eliminate these supposed anomalies. However, barely a week after it completed its compilation of the presumed air-tight register, the EC was forced to admit that indeed, the new register also contains the same problems of minors and foreigners.
It has therefore been compelled to set up a committee that will manually “clean” the brand new register in an unprecedented afterthought for a new voters’ register.
“The Commission is mindful of the infiltration of foreigners at a number of our registration centres…Additionally, we are aware that a number of minors have also found their way into the register,” Jean Mensah told the media during a press encounter on Wednesday.
The EC also pushed through its controversial mass registration at a time when the country was at extreme risk from an exploding COVID-19 infections.
Speaking to Accra-based Accra FM today (August 13, 2020), the General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia said the EC knew they were registering minors and foreigners and, so, must face the consequences of deceiving Ghanaians.
“They knew it and they went in with their eyes fully opened. So, it is too late to come and tell Ghanaians this cock and bull story”, Mr. Asiedu Nketia charged.
“We all know there is no equipment that can determine one’s age during a registration exercise but if you ditched the old roll with the claim that it had minors on it and insisted on buying new equipment to compile a new clean one, then it was assumed your new improved equipment can tell who a minor is and stop that person from registering.”
Meanwhile, civil society organisations who have followed the new voters’ registration exercise closely have questioned the credibility of the new register. Franklin Cudjoe, the Founder of policy think-tank, IMANI-Africa had described the new register as “fraudulent” and “worthless”.
For a register that the EC hailed as compromised with hundreds of thousands of illegal entries, the final sum of voters in the discarded register in less than 200,000 more than the new register.
The new register has approximately 16.9 million voters captured, while the supposed compromised old register had approximately 16.8 million voters data captured in it.
The new register is dominated by women who make up 51.73% while male voters are the minority at 48.27%.