EC using COVID-19 as cover-up, equipment for registration not ready – Asiedu Nketia
General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia says the Electoral Commission’s (EC) decision to suspend its scheduled registration exercise is not as a result of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, the Commission is not just ready for the exercise.
The EC says it suspended the planned exercise initially scheduled for April 18, 2020, because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking to journalists after an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting on Wednesday, the EC’s Director of Electoral Services, Dr. Serebour Quaicoe, said the Commission is collaborating with health experts to decide on a more favourable date depending on the prevalence rate of the virus.
“We had planned to do the registration on the [18th of April] but because of the pandemic, we can’t do it on the 18th so we are observing what is happening around Ghana and the globe,” Mr. Quaicoe told the press.
But speaking on Eyewitness News, the General Secretary of the NDC said the use of COVID-19 as a reason to call off the exercise is just a cover-up.
To him, the real reason why the exercise cannot come on as planned is that the equipment needed for the registration had delayed.
“We told them that the registration exercise was not going to be possible on the 18th of April even before the outbreak of COVID-19 because of the procurement of equipment and all the others. They couldn’t have arrived in the country before 18th so we told them that it wasn’t going to be possible so they have just found a convenient excuse under COVID-19 and they are using it as a cover.”
“The actual reason is not about COVID-19 at all, they are simply not ready. According to their procurement agreement, the first consignment of the equipment even in the situation where there was no COVID-19 was not going to enter the country before the 18th and so it is just poor planning so they should not hide under any COVID-19 because other activities of the Commission have been ongoing on the field.”
The EC however, did not mention a new date for the compilation of the new electoral roll since the new date was going to be dependent on how long the Coronavirus pandemic lasts.
NDC opts out of IPAC meeting over new arrangement
The NDC earlier on Wednesday opted-out of an IPAC meeting scheduled for the day.
Due to the President’s directive for limited people at social gatherings, the meeting was to be divided into two groups.
Also, representatives of political parties were to be reduced from three to one.
According to the NDC, it did not envisage a productive meeting considering the new arrangements that had been put in place, thus its decision to pull out.
Coronavirus cases in Ghana hit 68, 3 dead
This follows 15 new cases confirmed by the Ghana Health Service on Wednesday morning.
12 of the new cases were from the travellers who were put under mandatory quarantine and subjected to mandatory testing.
Ghana has recorded 41 cases in the last two days.
But most of these case have been attributed to mandatory testing for the persons in quarantine.