The Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) is urging the Electoral Commission (EC) to find other ways to compile a new voters’ register ahead of the 2020 general elections.
Its Director of Advocacy and Policy Engagement, Dr. Kojo Asante, noted that if the Coronavirus Pandemic persists beyond the month of May, the EC will be left with very little room to roll out its full calendar including the compilation of a new register.
The Electoral Commission has been forced to suspended indefinitely plans to compile a new voters register which was scheduled to begin on April 18th.
“By the time you take nominations [from political parties], you are close to October or the end of October. That is the reality you are dealing with. And that is why I make the point that if you can't do May then really you have to look at alternatives to actually compiling a new register,” Dr Kojo Asante said to Citi News.
The EC has it is collaborating with health experts to decide on a more favourable date depending on the prevalence rate of the virus.
The virus, which has infected 636 persons across 10 regions, has prompted a ban on public gatherings and a partial lockdown of Accra, Kasoa, Kumasi and Tema.
Nonetheless, a lawyer and member of the Council of State, Sam Okudzeto, has urged the EC to start the voters' registration exercise outside the partial lockdown.
“Our cases of the Coronavirus is not as dramatic as it is in many countries which means that we only have few pockets in the two big municipalities and few of the smaller ones but also just small areas of the regions. So since the lockdown is not the whole of Ghana, the EC should start the registration in the areas there is on lockdown and that would have covered a large chunk of the country,” he argued.