The 2020 Flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Mahama has warned that the NDC will not accept a flawed election in December following the fouling up of the new voters register by the Jean Mensah-led Electoral Commission (EC).
President Mahama gave the warning during a press conference that he addressed today, detailing the myriad of problems that have characterized the ongoing voter exhibition exercise around the country. This is not the first time the NDC flagbearer has issued the same warning.
“We in the NDC have exhibited restraint at all times in this electoral process, even now, and we are committed to doing so. But let me serve notice once again that we will not accept the result of a flawed election. We will certainly not look on, neither will we shirk our civic responsibility and allow the EC- whether by ill intent or sheer incompetence- to usurp the people’s mandate in the December 7 polls,” the former President said.
He gave the warning at the NDC’s national Headquarters at Adabraka today. The former President and his Running Mate, Prof. Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang suspended their nationwide campaign to hold the press conference.
As background to the warning, the former President enumerated the litany of problems that have characterized the voter exhibition exercise including the widespread disappearance of the names of registered voters from the register, especially in the strongholds of the NDC.
The name of the NDC running mate, Prof. Opoku-Agyemang had reportedly been removed from the voters register too.
Along with these disappearances, there have also been the bloating of registers in some strongholds of the governing NPP along with the secret issuance of new voters ID cards to suspected NPP party members and supporters.
“…the EC and our opponents suggest that these concerns are an exaggeration. So, I would like to take some time, at this point, to walk you through just a few of the numerous examples available to us,” ex-President Mahama said, as he enumerated a number of cases.
For instance, the Binduri Constituency of the Upper East Region, thousands of voters had been omitted from the register. In one polling station at Narang-Saago Primary School, not a single person out of the 444 voters who registered were found in the register when it was presented for exhibition.
“In 18 other centres in the same constituency, 6,341 names were omitted from the
registration. In Jirapa in the Upper West Region, a total of 2,057 names were nowhere to be found on the voters register in five centres. At Klottey Korle in Greater Accra, 2,054 people who registered in some 12 centres, did not find their names,” the former president outlined.
The mess continues: In Krowor, also in Greater Accra, cases of duplicated card numbers were recorded in as many as eight centres and 2,453 people were affected.
In Ashaiman, the Member of Parliament Ernest Norgbey, and other NDC executives detected the deletion of over 21,000 names from the register, including that of the MP. In response to this, the EC presented a new register which was still short of 7,000 names, albeit this time with the name of the MP. “In a clear case of subterfuge, the EC then presented another register with the name of the MP as though it was the earlier defective register,” the former President said.
The situation was similar in the political stronghold of the NDC in the Volta Region. In the Ketu South Constituency for instance, some 6,158 names were missing. In Anlo, 984 names could not be found. In Akatsi South, 426 names were omitted while in Ketu North, 260 names were not found.
While the disappearances of names on the register enumerated above mostly concern NDC strongholds, the former president pointed out that other places in the country have also registered bloated registers.
“Yet another anomaly that has been detected, revolves around the appearance of additional names on the register which have served to swell it. In Asawase in the Ashanti Region, 907 additional names have mysteriously appeared on the register.”
The former President said the NDC does not care whether the omissions are by deliberate design or by the incompetence of the Jean Mensah-led EC and that all that the NDC wants is for the issues to be resolved.
He suggested the EC, which has been ignoring the Inter-Party Advisory Committee for a very long time, to re-engage with IPAC to find solutions to the myriad of issues. Interestingly, it may be too late for the EC to resolve some of the problems in conjunction with IPAC because today, when the EC suggested to IPAC that it will re-registers some people, the two main political parties, NDC and NPP indicated that if the EC even manages to re-register some people, the people will not be able to vote in the 2020 elections.
From the IPAC conclusions, the EC has already disenfranchised thousands of legally registered Ghanaian voters.
Aside the predicament of re-registering the alleged omitted names, the EC will have to contend with thousands of lawsuits from those it has “deliberately” disenfranchised.