The coalition of political parties against the compilation of a new voters register has petitioned His Royal Majesty, Naa Gbewaa to intervene in the rumpus concerning the decision by the Electoral Commission (EC) to compile a new voter’s roll.
The coalition says the electoral management body’s decision to compile a new register is an attempt to mar Ghana’s enviable democracy hence wants His Royal Majesty, who is also President of the Northern Regional House of Chiefs to intervene to stop the EC from carrying out the exercise.
A statement issued late Monday signed by representatives of four political parties; the National Democratic Congress (NDC), United Ghana Movement (UGM), the All People’s Congress (APC) and the People’s National (PNC) argues the EC’s decision would disenfranchise millions of Ghanaian citizens, by limiting the proof of citizenship to only passport and the national ID card.
“This attempt to leave millions of Ghanaians out of the electoral roll is a great potential for disaster and political riots in our peaceful democracy,” the statement said.
The political parties against the compilation of the new voter’s register appealed to Naa Gbewaa to save the situation to avert any possible negative occurrence should the Commission go ahead to implement its decision.
The statement said, “Your Royal Majesty and Chiefs of the Northern Region hold a significant stake in the growth and development of the country’s democracy, to which you’ve demonstrated remarkable commitment in consolidating over the decades, no matter which party is in government.
This and your roles in consolidating peace, law and order in the country make you an institution worth calling upon, especially, on troubling occasions like this with the potential of leading our enviable democracy into a state of topsy turvydom.”
According to the coalition, the Northern Region has an estimated 981, 947 people who are 18 years in the National Identification Authority (NIA) roll. Out of this, only 328,115 people have had their cards issued. This implies that 653,832 people, representing 66.59% have not yet been issued cards.
“An analysis of the NIA data on the Northern Region makes it safe to conclude that using the national ID as proof of citizenship will deny too many Northern citizens the right to exercise their franchise. This, we find very disturbing, as it fits in the agenda to limit the democratic rights of the people. For many, it is a decision that will create chaos and mayhem, the groups alleges.
The group further argues that the EC’s quest to gather millions of Ghanaians across the country for mass registration in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic is a risk that comes with a huge price.
The decision by Ghana’s EC to compile a new voter’s roll ahead of the general election in December has divided the country into two opposing camps.
While the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and other smaller parties are for the compilation of the new register, the largest opposition party, the NDC, together with other smaller parties are against the new register.
Meanwhile the country’s electoral body has completed a pilot programme and has announced it will carry out its compilation of a new register in the last week of June, 2020.
By Francis Tandoh || ghananewsonline.com.gh