We don’t need a new Voters’ Register – CSOs blast EC

A Coalition of Civil Society Organizations (CSOS) in Ghana have publicly announced their outright rejection of the move by the Electoral Commission of Ghana to compile a new voters register ahead of the 2020 elections.

In a public forum today interrogating the essence of a new voters’ register, the CSOs asserted that the EC’s stance will rather needlessly burden the public purse, hence, it should be boycotted.

Speaking at the forum today, Ace Journalist, Kwesi Pratt argued that there are various reports indicating the credibility of the new voters register, so the move for a new one is “senseless” and too expensive for the country.

“If you have a voters’ register which is already credible, why spend close to a billion Cedis to make another one,” he queried. 

He additionally questioned the need to “change something (current voters’ register) which is credible to something whose credibility can’t be determined?”

He advised the EC to torpedo its decision, as the plan for a new voters’ register has the tendency to bring chaos in the upcoming general elections.

“We have less than 10 months to elections, in this [short] ten months period, you have decided to compile a new voters register?… this short period is not enough to compile a new voters register, it will throw the next elections into chaos.”

Addressing the audience at same event, the chairman of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Bernard Mornah, asserted that the compilation of a new voters’ register will almost consume the entire election year calendar, leaving political parties with little time to campaign.

“The  [plan by EC to compile a new voters register] will take a lot of time to register and check the authenticity of the system. Roughly it will be completed by September 2020. How much time will be left to campaign? 

He alleged that the EC is plotting to “waste time to torpedo plans by opposition political parties to [properly] campaign ahead of the elections”

He advised the EC to “synchronize data from old system onto a new system” instead of following a laborious process in compiling a new register, which is expensive and needless.

President of MBIC group, Bernard Monfant argued that the country is not in a “proper” financial state to waste money as the private sector consumption rate has been dropping since 2018.

He urged the government to channel the country’s limited resources into more deplorable sectors such as “healthcare, sanitation and water sanitation” instead of wasting it on a new voters’ register.

Also challenging the move for a new voters’ register, IT expert and Dean of School of Technology of Christ Apostolic University mentioned that the plan to get a better suited system for the general elections within this short period is not technically feasible.

According to him “the current thumbprint verification is even better than the face recognition the EC is trying to introduce”

He added his voice to the other speakers to call for the rejection of a new voters’ register in order to safeguard the electoral process.

The event ended with the fully filled auditorium chanting slogans of various political parties and capped off with the national anthem to arouse their sense of patriotism.

Despite starting late, the event achieved its main aim of inciting supporters to charge against the introduction of a new voters’ register.

Source: Jonas Danquah || ghananewsonline.com.gh 

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