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13.06.2020 Feature Article

The Voters Register Impasse

The Voters Register Impasse
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This current brouhaha about the Ghanaian Voters’ Register is a preventable chaos that should have been avoided, and not allowed to waste our Money and Time. All the EC had to do is conduct a routine Update to the Register whereby dead folks and any confirmed ineligible names in it could be purged, and newly eligible Voters added.

Regular Updates of Voters' Register is universally accepted and, in fact, required. While it serves no useful purpose to allow the Register to remain bloated with the names of deceased Persons, so is it crucial to allow People who have just come of Voting age, or qualified to vote via Naturalization, to be added to it. The idea of modifying the Register to include only biometric data of Voters could have been taken up and discussed exhaustively and approved by Parliament with a timeline for its accomplishment that is acceptable to all Stakeholders. No sane patriot could have objected to that modernization.

But it looks like the NPP created this mess just to prove it was now in charge and could do anything it pleases, the Opposition be damned. That kind of in-your-face attitude would always call for some strong challenge from the Opposition, even if the end-result of NPP’s exercise would be in the best interest of the Nation.

The NPP's approach sounded more than just a regular Update of the Register, and unnecessarily aroused suspicion on the Party’s ulterior motive for wanting to create a brand new Register. The timing of the process, especially, also alarmed the NDC to suspect some more sinister intentions by the incumbent Party, giving how close it is to the next General Elections and the prevalent concern with the Pandemic.

So, if the Supreme Court wants Peace to prevail, it should probably allow the Register to be only updated, providing specific guidelines as to who gets purged and who gets added to it, and requiring the Opposition to inspect the process. It would be even better if some arbiter of consensual approval from both the incumbent and the Opposition could be found or designated to inspect the process.

With regard to the NPP's contention that any Card issued in 2012 and 2016 or prior would not be admissible, doesn't that conflict its own acceptance of Passport as one of the only two Cards to prove eligibility? Some Passports could have been acquired before 2012 and still be active through 2022, since Ghana's Passports have a 10-year duration before expiration.

I am afraid, but it looks like the Akufo-Addo Administration is only making every conceivable excuse to justify its intent to create a new Register. If the same existing Register could successfully be relied upon to give NPP victory in 2016, why would it not be appropriate to do so now, in case its supporters go to the Polls in their numbers? The only reason one could rationally deduce to justify NPP's rejection of the existing Register is that NPP might have found out in 2016 that the Register was deeply flawed but the ‘Elephant’ Party did something else extra-judicial to skew its natural outcome to favor the Party in the 2016 Elections.

Maybe, that is what Ken Agyapong was alluding to when he said that if the Party joked with him, he would reveal how it won the last Elections. That warning surely implied a certain improper modus operandi that the NPP employed in the last Elections.

If Ghana were managed by any honest Officials, the Assin Fosu MP could have been invited by the Law Enforcement Agencies to spill out the beans, since his implied allegation weighs very heavily on the Fair Practice expectation in our Electoral Process.

Unfortunately, the Agencies all seem to be unquestionably doing their 'Master's" bidding, so they are not interested in anything that would hurt the image of the incumbent Administration.

But Ghanaians ought to demand honest legal answers from the Supreme Court…and nothing else.

Long Live Ghana!!!

G. K. Berko
G. K. Berko, © 2020

The author has 44 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: GKBerko

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