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General News of Thursday, 24 September 2020


Mahama lists troubling ‘irregularities' with new voters register

John Dramani Mahama is NDC flagbearer for the 2020 polls play videoJohn Dramani Mahama is NDC flagbearer for the 2020 polls

Flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, has said it is unfortunate that serious irregularities detected with the new voters' register have been described as an exaggeration by the Electoral Commission.

Speaking at a media event to address the issue on Thursday, September 24, 2020, John Mahama said as an interested party in the December elections the NDC is of the view that the irregularities point to alarming warning signs that the upcoming elections on December 7 will not be free and fair.

According to Mr Mahama, the worst affected constituency with regards to serious irregularities on the recently-compiled voters register is Binduri in the Upper East Region where at least 7,605 names have disappeared.

Below are the irregularities Mr Mahama said the NDC has found about the new register:

- In the Binduri Constituency of the Upper East Region, many cases of omission have been detected. At the Narang-Saago Primary School, not a single person out of four hundred and forty-four (444) registered could find their names on the register. At both the Tempielim Primary School and Kumpalgooga registration centres, no name was found on the voters register despite the registration of 428 and 392 people respectively.

- In 18 other centres in the same constituency, 6,341 names were omitted from the registration.

- In Jirapa in the Upper West Region, a total of 2,057 names were nowhere to be found on the voters register in five centres.

- At Klottey Korle in Greater Accra, 2,054 people who registered in some 12 centres, did not find their names.

- In Krowor, also in Greater Accra, cases of duplicated card numbers were recorded in as many as eight centres and this affected 2,453 people.

- In Ashaiman, the vigilance of our MP, Hon. Ernest Norgbey, and other NDC executives ensured the detection of the omission of over 21,000 names from the register, including that of the MP. In response to this, the EC presented a new register which was still short of 7,000 names, albeit this time with the name of the MP. In a clear case of subterfuge, the EC then presented another register with the name of the MP as though it was the earlier defective register.

- In the Central Region, glaring cases of duplication of card numbers were also recorded in 14 centres in the Komenda Edna Eguafo Abrem Constituency. One such case involved my Running Mate, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang. - In the Volta Region, significant numbers of names were missing on the registers in some Constituencies.

- In Ketu South, 6,158 names were missing. In Anlo, 984 names could not be found. In Akatsi South, 426 names were omitted while in Ketu North, 260 names were not found.

- Again, in Keta, 275 people could not find their names on the register.

- In the Northern Region, instances of missing names have been recorded in Karaga, Tamale South and Tolon Constituencies respectively, which yield a total of 2,173 so far.

- Yet another anomaly that has been detected, revolves around the appearance of additional names on the register which have served to swell it.

- In Asawase in the Ashanti Region, 907 additional names have mysteriously appeared on the register.

“There are also instances in which the gender, name and registration centre of voters have been transposed. As an interested party in the December elections we want to state and strongly that these alarming warning signs do not bode well for a free and fair election,” Mr Mahama stated.

Apart from the missing names, Mr Mahama also pointed at the duplication of voter ID numbers and cited the Krowor Constituency where 2,453 people have been affected in eight centres.

A similar challenge is also in the Central Region, where he said his running mate, Prof Naana Jane Opoku-Agyeman was also affected.

He also accused the EC of mysteriously adding 907 names to the Asawase register.

While he admitted that the omission of names after the compilation of a new register was not new, his worry was that “the magnitude of the recorded anomalies in this voters’ exhibition are unusual and unprecedented.”

“Of what use is a democracy if technicalities will be deployed to steal the mandate of the people? Sovereign power emanates from the people it must be protected and jealously guarded at all times,” he said.

He said the irregularities give the NDC a genuine cause for concern about the credibility of the register and the integrity of the electoral process.

“This is particularly so given the limited amount of time we have for the resolution of these major challenges before we go into the December elections,” he explained.

The Electoral Commission has acknowledged the concerns, describing them as minor errors that it was correcting.

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