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General News of Wednesday, 18 December 2019


Electoral Commission requests for over GHC443 million to compile new voters’ register

Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa

The Electoral Commission(EC) of Ghana has asked Parliament to approve an amount of GHC 443,646,663.00 to enable it compile a new voters’ register ahead of the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections.

The head of the EC, Jean Mensa, has stated that there is the need to compile a new register given that the register currently in use is overstretched even though it is accurate.

Many people have objected to the compilation of a new register due to the cost to be incurred. But the EC insists the cost will be worthwhile.

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has however kicked against the new register arguing that the EC is purposefully attempting to disenfranchise some people with the new register.

“…in my opinion, there is no such need for a new voters’ register. Why do we require a new register? Our practice has been that we replace the new register every decade,” General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah said.

But EC’s Director of Electoral Services, Dr Serebour Quaicoe argued that with manual verification on the high, the essence of biometric is being defeated since it was introduce to curb multiple registrations, voting and impersonation.

He stressed that should things be left as it is, the system may fail at some point.

“If we don’t take care, it will get to a point and the system will crash in our faces,” he warned.

Also, commenting on the issue, Dean of Studies and Research at the Institute of Local Government Studies, Dr Eric Oduro Osae saw the move by the EC to promote transparency and fairness in the electoral process.

“It is key to our growth of democracy and key to enable people have confidence in the system and confidence is critical for people’s participation in governance.

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“So if this will give us the confidence and the openness we need, then I am for it,” he stated.

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