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General News of Sunday, 23 August 2015

Source: citifmonline

Allow only taxpayers to vote - Casely Hayford

Financial Analyst and anti-corruption crusader, Sydney Casely Hayford is advocating for voting rights to be linked with the fulfillment of the required tax obligations in the country.

According to him, citizens should be made to select leaders if they fulfill responsibilities expected of them by the constitution.

His comments come on the back of recent debates on the need for a new voters register which some say lacks credibility.

The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) at a press briefing on Tuesday made claims suggesting that the country’s register contained names of about 80000 Togolese nationals.

The party has also petitioned the Electoral Commission for a new voters register before the 2016 general elections.

Sydney Casely Hayford on The Big Issue attributed the inconsistencies in the number of registered voters to the absence of a reliable national database.

“We don’t need the multiple ID cards, we need one card, one card that has all your data on it, and in this modern day and age, you can have absolutely everything if we have a single identification system, when you get of age, and you are eligible to vote, that automatically transfers you into being a voter in the country,

“As far as I am concerned, we should tie the voting to the tax that you have paid or not paid, if you haven’t paid your taxes, you should not vote in this country… if I am paying my taxes, why shouldn’t the kooko seller made to pay hers as well… I’m not asking that we pay the same amount, but we are made to pay according to our incomes, this is the challenge we have,” he added.

The NPP believes the country’s voters register is bloated hence it lacks credibility for the conduct of elections in the country. Reasons cited to back their claims include; the identification of the names of some foreigners as well as a 44.06 voter population percentage which according to them is questionable compared to other African countries. Their call has been supported by the Progressive People’s Party (PPP).

The governing NDC, however, watered down some of the major evidence cited by the NPP. The party’s General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia also challenged the NPP to seek redress in court over their concerns.

Meanwhile. the Electoral Commission at an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting on Friday asked the various political parties to submit proposals on the need for a new voters register. The Commission, however, says it will access the reasons given and act appropriately.