The Coalition of Voters Without Ghana Card (CVWGC) would like to, through this medium, ventilate its grievances and displeasure at the well-orchestrated and coordinated attempt by the Electoral Commission to disenfranchise eligible Ghanaians who by no fault of theirs, could not acquire or does not possess a Ghana Card and a passport.
The Legislature must understand that its core mandate, is the ability to deal with issues without pinning itself to divisive partisan indoctrination. Over the years, the decisions of the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana, in most instances, have been dictated by the positions taken by the leadership of Political Party’s Members of Parliament that are aligned.
It is indeed an ill thought through and impaired decision if not an entirely deliberate act, to want to set Ghana card and passport as sole prerequisites for attaining a new Voters ID Card in the upcoming registration exercise, if there will be any. It is also quite outrageous that, in a country of about 30 million Ghanaians, where only 3 million people possess passport and about 6.5 million possess the Ghana card, the Electoral Commission insists on having its way without recourse to available data.
By way of emphasis, the Electoral Commission is seeking to amend the existing law, C.I 91 to limit the primary document, and eligibility to register as a Ghanaian, to Ghana Card and Passport.
Then again, we cannot wrap our heads around the fact that the birth certificate is recognized as the fundamental document required for acquiring both the Ghana Card and passport but cannot be accepted as part of required documents to acquire the new Voters ID card.
Right from the inception of the EC’s intention to compile a new register, many have questioned the motives of the commission. It is unclear why the commission would want to compile a new register when the existing register has aptly ushered a President into power, conducted a referendum, elected some 3000 Assembly members and 66,000 and over unit committee members into office.
The EC has been constantly accused of harboring sinister ulterior motives which is unclear on the surface. The justifying reasons stated by the commission are ones that contradicts and defies all logic and common sense, an avenue fashioned out to abuse the public purse and to achieve self-serving endgames.
The actions and misdemeanor of the commission and its frontliners has the propensity of plunging our beloved country into turbulence and unprecedented turmoil. It is imperative that in this sensitive and defining moments for our country, the EC threads very cautiously and acts in all honesty and in the best interest of the people at whose behest they act, devoid of any depravity.
The coalition wants to state in no uncertain terms that any unsolicited and deliberate attempt to disenfranchise Ghanaians or rob them of their citizenship entitlements will be resisted by the youths. The EC must understand that;
- “The sovereignty of Ghana resides in the people of Ghana in whose name and for whose welfare the powers of government are to be exercised in the manner and within the limits laid down in this constitution”, Article 1(1) of the 1992 constitution.
- According to Article 1(2), the constitution shall be the supreme law of Ghana and any other law found to be inconsistent with any provision of this constitution shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.
- Every citizen of Ghana of eighteen years of age or above and of sound mind has the right to vote and is entitled to be registered as a voter for the purposes of public elections and referenda as provided for under Article 42 of the 1992 constitution and as such must be duly acknowledged by the EC through every sound possible means.
- Article 46 states that “except as provided in this constitution or in any other law not inconsistent with this constitution, in the performance of its functions, the electoral commission, shall not be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority”. The mere regulation of the EC is clearly inconsistent with their functions which will result in disenfranchising majority of the Ghanaian voters.
- It must revise its decision to use the Ghana Card and Passport as sole prerequisites for acquiring the new Voters ID as this may disenfranchise majority of eligible Ghanaians who are not holders of the cards. The birth certificate and the old Voter ID cards must be made fundamentally required documents in order ensure an open and fair process.
- The Electoral Commission owes it an obligation to Ghanaians to ensure a peaceful electoral process and as such everything humanly possible must be done to avoid any form of discontent and agitation from the people who are major stakeholders.
Should any blood be shed during the compilation of the new register and subsequently, the coming election due to any form of malfeasance or foul play on the side of the commission, the youths shall hold the EC responsible.
We are reminding the Electoral Commission of the consequences their actions shall bring forth, should they continue the compilation of the new register and ignore citizens who are likely to be deprived of their constitutional entitlements. We again admonish the Commissioners to work in the best interest of this country and of the people at whose behest they perform their functions.
In all, the new voter register is needless, time wasting and waste of the tax payer’s money. Kindly desist from such act now! Power belongs to the people and given by the people. Thank you.
Parliament of Ghana
Electoral Commission, Ghana