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General News of Friday, 25 January 2019


Youth group threatens to stop Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election

Jean Mensah, EC Chair Jean Mensah, EC Chair

A youth development group has threatened to use legal means to stop the Ayawaso West Wuogom by-election if the Electoral Commission fails to register all persons who have turned 18 years in the constituency.

The EC has set January 31 to hold parliamentary by-election in the constituency following the death of the Member of Parliament for area, Emmanuele Kyeremateng Agyarko in November last year.

Four persons, including the New Patriotic Party candidate, Lydia Seyiram Alhassan and National Democratic Congress’ Delali Kwasi Brempong have been cleared by the EC to contest the by-election.

But the Youth Bridge Foundation say the EC cannot go ahead with the by-election without first conducting a limited voter registration exercise for the constituents who have after the December 2016 general elections, turned 18 years.

“[We] wish to express grave concern about the potential attempt to disenfranchise some young Ghanaian citizens in the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency who turned 18 years after the 2016 General Elections,” the group said in a statement Friday.

Citing Article 42 of the 1992 constitution and the 2013 Electoral Reforms Committee report, the group argued that the EC is enjoined by law to revise the voters’ register every year and prior to all elections.

Despite this, it said the EC has over the years failed to comply with its mandate, something it observed appears to have been institutionalised.

“This act of negligence and dereliction of duty must never be countenanced as it indicts the commitment of the Commission to youth participation in the electoral processes of Ghana,” the group said.

According to the group, it will not “sit idle” this time around for the EC to “blatantly disenfranchise” the people of Ayawaso West Wuogon through the omission or commission of the EC.

It has consequently asked the EC to as a matter of urgency, conduct a limited registration exercise in the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency to register all persons who have since December 2016 turned 18 years.

Failure of the EC to comply with the law, the group said, will compel them “to seek redress at the appropriate quarters”.

The Ayawaso West Wuogon seat became vacant following the death of the MP for the area, Emmanuel Kyeremanteng Agyarko.

Mr. Agyarko who would have turned 61 years on December 10, 2018 died on Wednesday, November 21, 2018 in the United States where he was flown to by his family for medical care.