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General News of Friday, 24 April 2020


Coronavirus: Calls for voter roll compilation 'deeply irresponsible' – Mahama

John Mahama John Mahama

Former President John Dramani Mahama has described as “deeply irresponsible” suggestions by some elements within the government that the Electoral Commission (EC) begin compiling a new voter register despite the raging coronavirus pandemic.

The EC suspended its planned voter registration exercise which was scheduled for 18 April 2020, after the government placed a ban on all social gatherings, as part of measures to observe social-distancing protocols to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Although the Commission is yet to announce a new date, a senior legal practitioner, Mr Sam Okudzeto, had suggested the EC start the registration exercise in COVID-19-free areas in the country.

In a Facebook Live session on Thursday, 23 April 2020 on Ghana’s COVID-19 situation, Mr Mahama, without mentioning names, said: “It is unfortunate that a high-ranking member of the President’s party has suggested, in recent days, that the Electoral Commission should, and will go ahead with the compilation of a new voter register as soon as next month”.

“At a time when doubts remain about the scale of the COVID-19 threat, and when social-distancing has become our main defence, this suggestion is deeply irresponsible.”

“Outbursts like this create doubt in the minds of the public if there are no political underpinnings to the President’s decision,” he added.

The EC has taken an entrenched position to compile a new register ahead of the December polls despite strong opposition from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and other parties including several civil society organisations.