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General News of Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Source: citifmonline

Go to court if Togolese are on voters' register - Gen. Mosquito

The General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia has downplayed the said evidence presented by the New Patriotic Party (NPP), suggesting that the country’s voters register is bloated, hence their call for the creation of a new one.

The NPP is calling on the Electoral Commission to revise the Voters register which, according to them, is bloated and lacks credibility.

Delivering a presentation to provide evidence to their claims, Vice presidential candidate of the NPP, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia revealed that close to 80,000 Togolese nationals had been registered as voters in Ghana.

He further indicated that there were some instances where some people used NHIA cards as means of identification, which he stated, is contrary to provisions of the laws governing the registration and conduct of elections.

But responding to the issues raised by the NPP on Eyewitness News, General Secretary of the NDC, Asiedu Nketia called on Ghanaians to take such reasons “with a pinch of salt” as he belittled major arguments raised by the NPP.

On the percentage of voters compared to the total population, Dr. Bawumia stated that the percentage of Ghana’s voting population- which was 44.06 percent- was much higher compared to other countries on the African continent.

However, Asiedu Nketia flawed the 2010 base year used by the NPP.

“Every year we add 2.5 percent to the population so before you get to 2012, you have to compound the growth rate by 2.5%, so using the statistics you can only assume that between 2010 and 2012, nobody was born nor died within that period,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Asiedu Nketia has challenged the NPP to seek clarification from the law courts following their assertion that close to 80,000 Togolese nationals had been registered as voters in Ghana.

“If it is now that they have identified these names, they should go and use the same procedure. The door is not closed, and that should not be the reason why we should throw away a credible register, they should go and prove that there are people there who are not there and they will be deleted,” he said.

Commenting on issues relating to the use of the NHIA card as a means of identification during the registration process, the NDC General Secretary stated that those concerns had already been addressed by the electoral reforms committee of which the NPP is a signatory to.

According to him, processes to delete names of such persons could only be effected after a failure to provide other proofs of identification.

“Before you can proceed to delete anybody’s name from the register, you need to get all the people who registered with NHIA cards and ask them to identify themselves with any of the other five means, if they are unable to do that, then you can now draw a conclusion that their names should be deleted,” he stated.

The NDC scribe, however, conceded that issues regarding registering people who were underaged and the inability to fully confirm the biometric data of voters were some defects in register.

He, however, indicated the NDC will not hesitate to accept the introduction of technologies to check instances of registering persons who are under aged.

“A technology which is age sensitive that will tell you that you are underage and that you can’t register; we will be the very first people to rush for this re-registration,” he stated.