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Opinions of Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Columnist: Ackon, Paa Kow

Garbage in, garbage out: The limited registration exercise

The Electoral Commission of Ghana has announced that from 28th April – 8th May 2016, it will conduct a limited biometric voter registration exercise to allow voters who have attained the voting age of 18 years and those whose names are not in the register the opportunity to register.

The Progressive People’s Party is convinced that any attempt by the EC to compile or verify the voters’ register will be MEANINGLESS unless the source of information is from the National Identification Authority (NIA).

As a matter of fact, the first recommendation the panel on the biometric voters register made was that “there must be a real demonstration of the Commission’s willingness to tackle corruption on its part of the human factor, that is, make it difficult for the usual cheating to go on, and demonstrate its efforts to clean up the register of the invalid records that everyone is aware of such as the names of minors and of the deceased. We think that citizens of Ghana will heed the call if they feel they can trust the Electoral Commission in its bid to bring back the confidence in the electoral system”.


So far, the Electoral Commission has not shown any real demonstration to tackle corruption especially when the Commission has not made any effort to disclose its incapacitation in determining the Nationality and particulars of any individual who may be suspected of not being a Ghanaian or a minor.

It is good to know that CI 91 has put in place stiff punishment for people who engage non-Ghanaians and minors to register but which one of us has authority to question the nationality or otherwise of another person? Clearly, it appears the EC is arrogating to itself powers which it does not have.

We wish to state here and now that any voters’ register which is not from the NIA database will not guarantee us a credible election since there will not be any proper benchmark to which the process will be based.

If we want to have a free and fair Election in Ghana, government must a as a matter of urgency commission the NIA to provide us with a National database within three months.

Despite the low publicity about the impending exercise, it defeats logic that we continue doing the same thing over and over again and expect different outcome.

AWAKE GHANA!!!

Signed:
Paa Kow Ackon
Director of Communication
(0203 62 33 97)