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Politics of Wednesday, 20 May 2020


If 2020 is a done deal, why are you so insistent on a new register? - Kwesi Pratt asks NPP

Editor of the Insight Newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr play videoEditor of the Insight Newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr

Seasoned journalist, Kwesi Pratt Jnr has taken a jab at the New Patriotic Party (NPP) over their assertion that the party will win this year's elections by virtue of their performance; not on the basis of a new voters' register.

The Electoral Commission's decision to compile a new voters' register has stirred controversies from the camps of the two major political parties in the country, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the NPP.

NDC Rejects New Voters' Register

The NDC National Chairman, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo has accused the Electoral Commission (EC) and the National Identification Authority (NIA) saying they want to collude with the governing party to arrange the deceitful outcome of the 2020 elections.

According to him, the Commission's quest to compile a new register is a grand scheme to favour President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the New Patriotic Party to rig the elections.

The NDC alleged that the EC wants to achieve this aim by disenfranchising 11 million Ghanaian electorates, hence the Commission's plan to use only the Ghana card and passport for the registration exercise.

''The exclusion of the voters’ ID card from the requirements of registration for the national ID card by the Akufo-Addo government, was part of a well-calculated scheme to disenfranchise a good number of Ghanaians from acquiring the national ID card (Ghana card), which was to be used subsequently, as one of the registration requirements in the new voters’ register plan they had long hatched.

“As we predicted, the Ghana Card registration process by the NIA has been very slow such that till date, the process which commenced with a pilot late 2017 and was supposed to be completed in one year, has been able to register only 11,062,055 out of about 19 Million Ghanaians (15 years and above) who are eligible to be registered. Even more bizarre is the fact that, out of this 11 million Ghanaians who have been registered, only 7,074,048 have been issued with cards (per NIA’s own website as at 2nd May, 2020)'', the NDC National Chairman said in a press conference on Thursday, May 14, 2020, adding that ''the objective is to disenfranchise a significant number of persons in NDC strongholds in furtherance of the Jean Mensa-led EC’s grand scheme to rig the 2020 general elections for the New Patriotic Party".

NPP Refutes Election Rigging Claims

The NPP, responding to the opposition party's claims, says they have no interest in manipulating the EC and NIA to do favours for them.

The party explained that Ghanaians know their track record and their victory in the election is primarily contingent on the achievements of President Nana Akufo-Addo.

Recounting some achievements of the governing party which include Free SHS through which about 1.3 million school children have gained enrolment into various educational institutions, job creation and high employment rate as well as the government's support and efforts in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic among other good works of the President are enough for the NPP to have a landslide victory in the December polls.

"So we do not need the EC to rig the elections in our favour. NPP will win the election based on our soundtrack record'', Mr. Peter Mac-Manu said.

What is NPP's Problem?

Speaking to host Kwami Sefa Kayi on 'Kokrokoo' on Peace FM, Kwesi Pratt questioned the logic in the New Patriotic Party's support for the EC to compile a new voters' register if they are certain to win the elections based on their achievements.

Mr. Pratt asked why would they bother to pick an argument with the National Democratic Congress (NDC) over the registration exercise because to their Campaign Manager, Mr. Mac-Manu, the NPP doesn't need a new or old register to emerge victors.

''If that is the case, then what's the meaning of all this noise? If we use the old or new register for the elections, NPP will win . . if it is possible to organize free and fair elections leading to the victory of NPP, what is the problem?'' he quizzed.

EC Response To Election Rig

Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission (EC) says their decision to use the Ghana Card and passport as the legal documents for the voters’ registration exercise is to “aid in the elimination of unqualified names in the register.”

The EC added; “Furthermore, an applicant who does not have the Ghana card or passport may resort to obtaining two guarantors to facilitate their registration and therefore the exclusion of the Voter ID as a requirement will not lead to suppression of votes.

"The Electoral Commission wishes to assure all stakeholders at all levels of its determination to deliver free, fair and credible Presidential and Parliamentary Elections on December 7, 2020 as mandated by law.''