A group calling itself 'Ghana Youth Confederacy' has backed the Electoral Commission (EC) decision to go ahead to compile a new voters' register for this year's general election considering the fact that government agencies are still functional across the country.
The EC was expected to commence the compilation of a new voters' register on April 18, 2020 for the December 7 general elections, but because of the outbreak of the coronavirus (Covid-19) disease, it became necessary for the exercise to be postponed.
A convener of the group, David Mark-Robertson, said members of the group believed that the EC could put in place precautionary measures including, social distancing protocol, to help contain the spread of the virus during the registration exercise.
“It will be very suicidal for anyone to advocate for the usage of the existing register to conduct this year’s general elections, particularly as the EC itself has described the current register as not credible.
“We are of the strong conviction that if EC fails to compile a new register and uses the existing one for the 2020 general elections, the political parties who are advocating for its usage might turn around to blame it on the EC, in the event that they lose the elections,” he said.
Mark-Robertson said the EC could consider creating new polling stations to help fast-track the registration process, while adding adhering to the measures to contain the Covid-19.
“Each polling station must not register more than 550 people. The EC must also ensure that registration days are enough to help discourage panic at registration centres,” he suggested.
He indicated that the Ghana Youth Confederacy believed the Covid-19 should not be used as an excuse to take away the powers of the EC, and added that the group disagreed with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) that were arguing for the existing register to be used for the impending elections.
“We believe that it is possible for the EC to embark on this all-important exercise, and so we call on all well-meaning Ghanaians to support the EC to execute its constitutional mandate for the betterment of the nation,” he stressed.