Accra, March 24, GNA - Dr Edmund Delle, Leader and National Chairman of the Convention People's Party (CPP) on Tuesday called on the Electoral Commission (EC) to extend the period of the voters' registration exercise.
He also urged the Commission to intensify its educational campaign on the exercise to enable all eligible Ghanaians to register. Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an interview, Dr Delle said the ultimate goal of the exercise was to provide the opportunity for every eligible voter to exercise his or her democratic right.
He said much as the EC insists on keeping to deadlines it is worth considering that every citizens is offered the opportunity to participate in the democratic development of the country.
"We would like to reiterate our conviction that it is the right of every adult Ghanaian to exercise his or her franchise and, therefore, I call on the EC to consider an extension of the voter registration exercise".
Dr Delle who had toured the Central, Volta, Eastern and Ashanti regions to witness the registration exercise, said Registration Officials disrupted the 14-day re-registration with agitation and boycott over unresolved issues regarding their allowances. The exercise itself has been fraught with some problems such as inadequacy of registration materials. This, he said, would not make it possible for many anxious people to register within the time limit. The performance of some of the registration officials and their assistants also left much to be desired as they played this national assignment on the altar of partisanship, the CPP Chairman said.
"The voter registration exercise is an important national duty and how effectively it is played shall be a foretaste of the general outcome of the general elections in December."
The CPP Chairman said reports reaching the CPP Headquarters from party executives in the regions revealed other lapses and logistics problems that affected the performance of the exercise and made it far from being excellent.
Dr Delle explained that Article 42 of the Constitution entitles every Ghanaian of 18 years or above, to be registered as a voter for the purposes of elections.
"A duty is, therefore, cast on the EC to ensure that all citizens who qualify to vote have their names on the register," the CPP Chairman reiterated.
He noted that under the Constitution, the right to register is not only a civic responsibility but it is also fundamental human rights as the law debars anyone who fails to register from holding certain positions in Ghana.
"Apart from citizens who may be disenfranchised, others who do not get to register, through no fault of theirs, stand deprived of economic and political advantage to themselves, whilst the country also stands to lose their services."
He therefore appealed to the Commission to extend the period to ensure that all eligible Ghanaians are offered the opportunity to register.
The exercise, which began on March 16, is scheduled to close on March 29.