Founding President of Imani Africa, Mr Franklin Cudjoe has commended former Chair of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan and Member of Parliament for Assin Central Kennedy Agyapong for opposing the Constitutional Instrument (CI) by the EC that is seeking to make the Ghana Card the sole identification document for voter registration.
Dr Afari-Gyan in a statement made to the state-owned Daily Graphic indicated that the EC’s position on the guarantor system, to the effect that it was not robust and, therefore, the Ghana Card should be the sole document of registration was untenable.
“What prevents the commission from instituting, in the upcoming constitutional instrument (CI), a guarantor regime as robust as or even more robust than the one being used by the NIA for doing the Ghana Card?” he queried.
Also, Mr Kennedy Agyapong described this decision by the elections management body to make the Ghan rad the sole document for voter registration as bogus.
Speaking on Sompa FM, in Kumasi, over the weekend, Mr Agyapong who is seeking to be elected flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) said ‘’I am against it. Ghana has people taking bogus decisions.
“We have a whole Ghana passport, but you (EC) claim that to register to vote you can’t use it to register as a voter. What makes me know that I am a Ghanaian? It is my passport”, he said.
Commenting on these, Mr Franklin Cudjoe said “Yet another sensible patriot, Dr. Afari Gyan, the emeritus Chair of Ghana’s Electoral Commission rejects the EC’s decision to ditch the guarantor system. IMANI supports this action as well as that of Kennedy Agyapong.”
The Chair of the Electoral Commission Mrs Jean Mensa told Parliament that the use of Ghana Crad alone would prevent minors and foreigners from getting onto the electoral register to vote.
Briefing the House on the CI on Tuesday, February 28 Madam Jean Mensa said “The use of only Ghana Card will ensure and guarantee the credibility of the register and elections, prevent enrolment of minors, prevent foreigners from voting, eliminate the guarantor system which is prone to abuse.”
“The Ghana Card will not be used for voting in 2024, it will be used to register,” she said.
Regarding a revelation by Tamale South Member of Parliament Haruna Iddrisu that there were about 3.5million people without Ghana Crad, she said the National Identification Authority (NIA) has told the commission that ” there are 3.5 blank cards in the warehouse, money has been released and funds are being released.”
The Minority have been raising issues against the proposed CI.
On Thursday, February 23, they rejected officials from the EC and the National Identification (NIA) who were in Parliament to brief the House on the proposed CI.
The Member of Parliament or Tamale South Haruna Iddrisu said that the Minority are opposed to any move by the EC to use the Ghana Card as the sole identification document for voter registration.
He said any such move by the EC would hurt the right to vote and be voted for.
Speaking on the Big Issue via telephone on TV3 Monday, February 27, the former Minority Leader indicated that there were 3.5million people who were without Ghana Card.
He questioned whether the EC is going to deny all these 3.5 million people from exercising their right to vote because they do not have a Ghana Card.
“There is the right to vote and be voted for, the NDC will defend that right,” he said.
“We are contesting the use of Ghana Crad as the sole reference for purposes of getting registered as a voter,” he said.
He stressed “the right to vote and be voted for is sacred. 3.5 million people don’t have the card, can you tell these 3.5 million persons not to vote?”