Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Jean Adukwei Mensa, has reemphasised the Commission’s reason for insisting prior to the commencement of the limited voter registration that, the Ghana card be used as the sole document for proof of identity.
Addressing the media at its head office in Accra Monday, September 18, 2023, the EC Chair said the infiltration of the register by political parties with under-aged people justifies why the Commission insisted on using the Ghana card rather than the guarantor system to get eligible voters on the roll.
According to Madam Mensa, the election management body had no intentions of disenfranchising people as speculated but to protect the sanctity of the register.
“We have received reports of the arrest of the Youth Organizer of one of the political parties in the Shai Osudoku constituency. It is alleged that he was facilitating the registration of minors. We are also aware of other cases by attempts of others presents who were caught up for attempting to register minors. It is for this very reason that we felt it necessary to limit the documentation for identifying a person’s citizenship based on the Ghana card,” she noted.
She blamed the anomalies to the guarantor system which was adopted with political parties busing people to guarantee for registrants including minors.
Madam Mensa continued that, the EC will additionally organise “a mop up exercise in selected areas where it is difficult to access our offices.”
Apart from stating financial constraint as a challenge to the exercise, she said if the CI they placed before Parliament earlier had been assented, the Commission would have been able to organize a continuous registration for eligible voters for six months.
Meanwhile, she said 182,831 persons have registered so far for the first six days of the exercise.
The Electoral Commission has come under intense criticism for insisting on restricting the limited voter registration exercise at its district offices.
Many stakeholders have asked for an extension of the centres to the electoral areas, with the National Democratic Congress and four other political parties, together with two private citizens suing the Commission. Despite the injunction sought by the political parties, the Commission went ahead with the exercise whilst the Supreme Court is yet to provide a date for the hearing of the injunction.