Governance Watch Ghana has learnt of discussions and efforts by the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana to compile a new register for the purpose of the 2020 elections.
In a recent discussion that has hit the media, the Commission is reported to be considering the introduction and compilation of a new register in the election year of 2020. As part of efforts, some demonstrations of a sort, was said to have been carried out at the Commission for the purpose.
Governance Watch Ghana respects the independence of the Commission on matters of this nature, and respects the guarantee of independence under the 1992 Constitution to the Commission in the discharge of its duties. Indeed, Article 46 of the 1992 Constitution immunes the Commission from the direction and control from any person or authority.
Following from the above, we are mindful of the need to always maintain cohesion in our public discourse and on matters that bothers on our national unity.
While we accord the Commission that respect and independence of authority, we shall proceed to ask the following questions which we are hopeful would receive response from the Commission, subsequent to which our final position on this matter would be made public.
- Before a new register would be caused to be compiled, looking at the cost involved in such an exercise, and considering the struggles by the state to meet other very important expenditures, what is the defect detected in the current register?
What was the motivation for the Commission to open, earlier this year, for the “defective” register to accept entry of unregistered citizens unto it through the limited voter registration exercise undertaken?
Following from the conduct of the referendum in 2018 which led to the creation of the six new regions, and following from the endorsement of the process by the Electoral Commission of the outcome, some of which recorded over 96% turnout, what has the Commission established subsequent to that to necessitate the compilation of a new register?
In a few days to come, the elections of Assembly and Unit Committee Members would be undertaken using the current register. If the Commission is already contemplating a new register, it must be reasonable to conclude that the register is already defective in its current form. Why does the Commission intend to proceed on an election on the 17th of December with an already defective register so determined to elect these officials?
We are of the strongest view that, should the Commission apprise itself to these 4 questions, the national discourse would be enhanced further as we would have the opportunity to evaluate their claims for the need of a new voters register in its right context.
We wait to hear from the Commission on these issues, as we would be grateful as a Civil Society Organization to join the national debate from the right perspective.
Stephen Kwabena Attuh
Fred Adomako Williams
(Deputy Executive Director)