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General News of Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Mixed reactions greet EC’s compilation of a new voters register

The Electoral Commission’s (EC) decision to carry on with plans for the compilation of a new voter register for the upcoming 2020 General election has come under scrutiny due to the increase of Coronavirus cases in Ghana.

The exercise which was scheduled to take off in April 2020 was suspended when the country recorded its earlier cases of coronavirus. Although the EC is yet to come up with a new date, it has indicated that plans are far ahead for the successful take-off of the registration exercise.

With Ghana’s coronavirus cases standing at 5,918 as at May 19, 2020, GhanaWeb visited some parts of Accra to find out from the public if they were going to partake in the new voter’s registration exercise should the EC announce a date for the compilation of the new register.

There were conflicting views as some persons were in support of the EC’s decision with others calling for a broader consultation into the decision. The EC which is currently awaiting a green light from health experts has assured the populace that the exercise is going to be conducted under strict conditions while adhering to all the safety protocols to prevent a possible spread of the coronavirus.

Their decision has since received diverse reactions especially from the largest opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who have termed it as a move by the government to rig the upcoming elections.

Persons who are in favour of the compilation of the new voter's register tasked the EC to ensure the safety of Ghanaians during the exercise.

“ I will go for the registration because when you go there are safety protocols that you need to follow, I will have my sanitizer with me and maybe the registration centers will have veronica buckets (water) and soaps that we can wash our hands with… time is far spent maybe the EC might not carry out with registration,” says Nhyira a worker at Newtown.

A business owner at Accra New Town, Kofi Mensah, told GhanaWeb that, “Some non-Ghanaians have their names in the voter's register, it shouldn’t be so. We need a new register for only Ghanaians, the EC must go on with their plans. They should just provide nose masks, maintain social distancing and ensure tight security at the registration grounds”.

While the Electoral Commission of Ghana insists that the current register is bloated and not fit for purpose, some Ghanaians are of the view that the country is not in normal times and have therefore advised the EC to abort plans of undergoing a new registration exercise.

“I think the EC should suspend the exercise for next year. We can use the old register for the election and next year they can compile a new register. I think that will be the best option because going a queue this time is riskier than us using the old one but if they open it I will go and register,” says Jethro a resident of New Town.

“I will not partake in that exercise; we have not seen any economic progress in Ghana therefore I will not form a queue and do the so-called registration. It is all waste of money, why would we have another re-registration while the old one is still valid? I don’t see it as something we should embark on,” an agitated woman, Nhyira Adomah told GhanaWeb.

“I just don’t understand, maybe the EC has its own agenda. How can you say that the register is bloated while we used a biometric registration… what is wrong with our leaders? They must be very careful, very soon the youth will rise against such decisions. We shouldn’t think that war cannot rise in Ghana, there is no need for a new register,” Mr. Ibrahim Mahama advised.



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