NDC, others petition UN, int’l organisations over new voters’ register
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) and other opposition political parties against the compilation of a new voters’ register have petitioned the Economic Commission of West Africa (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN).
In the statement sighted by JoyNews, the petitioners raised concerns about the time limit involved and the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic which continues to threaten human lives.
According to the group, ‘since the announcement by the Electoral Commission, millions of Ghanaian citizens have expressed their disapproval of the decision through demonstrations and mass protests among others in various parts of the country.
“Several prominent citizens and civil society organizations have also openly noted with concern the potential dangers of a national crisis if the belligerent attitude of the Electoral Commission is not checked.
“So far, the operations of the Electoral Commission have been opaque, incoherent, and a flagrant disregard for the long-established InterParty Advisory Committee (IPAC) which has in previous years served as the forum of deliberations on major electoral matters including the compilation of registers.”
The group further argued that the current register which was used for the general election in 2012 is credible and fit for use.
They statement said, “given the high tensions and mutual suspicions presently among the stakeholders, we wish to urgently invite ECOWAS to dispatch a fact-finding and mediation team to Ghana to engage with the stakeholders especially political parties and the Electoral Commission and Civil Society Organizations as part of pre-emptive measures targeted at preventing the potential plunge of the country into unnecessary conflict, confusion, and anarchy.”
With the 2020 polls some six months away, the EC has announced June ending as the new date for compilation of a new electoral roll after an April schedule was scuttled by the coronavirus disease and restrictions on movements.
While the EC continues to insist that the current register is bloated and not credible for the December parliamentary and presidential elections, their decision to ditch the current voters’ register for a new one has forced at least 18 civil society groups and some opposition political parties to form a united front against the commission.
Led by the NDC, the group have staged series of demonstrations against the Electoral Commission.
There have also been jabs and counter-jabs with the NDC suing the Commission.
But the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and groups affiliated to it, are backing the EC’s decision for a new electoral roll. They insist that the reasons given by the EC are reasonable and a new roll will ensure a free and fair election in December 2020.