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Politics of Friday, 22 May 2020


Parliament summons Jean Mensa over December polls

EC Chair, Jean Mensa EC Chair, Jean Mensa

The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Ghana, Jean Mensa, has been summoned by Parliament to brief the house next week on her plans for 2020 elections.

Majority leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu informed the House during the business statement for next week.

The announcement follow demands by the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu and other MPs who demanded the commission to appear before the house with a brief on arrangements for the December 7 polls.

Responding to their concerns, the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs said the commission has been summoned to brief Parliament next week.

Meanwhile, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) says about 93% of potential voters in the Upper East and Upper West regions will be ineligible to vote if the electoral commission insists on its controversial voter registration methods.

The Electoral Commission has said the Ghana card and passports are the primary documents to be used for the upcoming registration.

However, the Director of Elections of the NDC Elvis Afriyie Ankrah says it will be undemocratic to resort to such a means to disenfranchise Ghanaians from voting.

Addressing the media in Accra Thursday, Mr Afriyie-Ankrah said “Only about 6.5 million people have access to the NIA card. The NIA could not dispute our claim that only 5.17 per cent and 6.36 per cent of the registrable population in the Upper West and Upper East regions, respectively, have been issued Ghana cards, as we speak.

“So, Upper West, Upper East, Northern, Savannah, North-East, you look at the figures, 86 per cent, 84 per cent, 85 per cent and Upper East and Upper West 5.17 per cent and Upper East 6.36 per cent. So, the rest of the ninety-something per cent, what is going to happen to them? Are they not Ghanaians? Do they not deserve to be treated rightly, fairly and justly as anybody else? Do they have to go through the hustle of trying to find people to guarantee for them with all its delays and frustrations?”.

He stressed: “So, take note of that because when we speak, they say where is the conspiracy. So, by strange, accidental reason, [in] the strongholds of the NDC, you have a situation where 93 per cent of eligible voters in these two regions would not have access to their cards. And they have to resort to the secondary method of vouching as the norm rather than the exception. Is it fair, is it right? Are you creating a level playing field?”

“The big question, therefore, is why would the Jean Mensa-led EC rely on an identification card, Ghana card, whose issuance is largely incomplete, and fraught with several anomalies and demographic disparities? Why is the Jean Mensa-led EC excluding from the list of registration requirements under the proposed C.I. their own widely available and acceptable voter ID card and rather including the Ghana card, which is currently possessed by just about 6.5 million Ghanaians who are 18 years and above? A card which is currently not accepted by any public, private or commercial institution.