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Opinions of Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Columnist: Akilu Sayibu

The Electoral Commission must listen to the people!

After colossal evidence was submitted to the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana about the Ghana’s voters register which is extremely bloated and in some cases had the pictures of non- Ghanaians scanned into it, the Commission is yet to formally respond to the evidence submitted to it by the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

The Chairperson of the Commission, Charlotte Osei, is yet to be seen to be showing commitment to the issues raised about the “swollen” register. Last week, several Statesmen and organisations joined in calls for the EC to compile a new register for the elections of next year as part of efforts to make the election credible.

Former Presidents Rawlings and Kufour, former First Lady of Ghana, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, Miss Eva Lokko, a former vice presidential candidate of the Progressive Peoples Party (PPP) among others, have added their voices to the calls for a new register to be compiled.

Renounced Church leaders and other democratic NGOs have all commented on the need for Ghana to compile a new voter register. The only political party that has been loudest in kicking against a new, clean, credible register has been the NDC. They have insulted everybody who is calling for a new register in Ghana.

Demonstrations by a pressure group known as the Let My Vote Count Alliance have been scuffled by the Ghana Police Service through Court orders. The NDC has been holding strategic meetings and sponsoring mushroom groups to organise lectures against the urgent need for a new register.

Recently, lawyer Ndebugri went the extra mile to distort article 46 of the constitution of Ghana which speaks about the non interference into the work of the EC. I am hugely disappointed in lawyer Ndebugri for his misinterpretation of calling for a new credible register as interference in the work of the EC! What work is the EC doing that anybody is interfering with now?

What Ghanaians must understand and which the EC must quickly come to terms with is that it is not an organisation operating in the Seychelles Island. It is a Commission representing Ghanaians and therefore every Ghanaian anywhere has the right to talk or demonstrate to raise awareness about a fraudulent voters register.

Ndebugri must be reminded of Article 1(I) of the constitution of Ghana which says: “The sovereignty of Ghana resides in the people of Ghana in whose name and for whose welfare the powers of government are to be exercised in the manner and within the limits laid down in the constitution”.

Chapter 7 of the constitution talks about “Representation of the People”. The people, in the interpretation of article 46, have a say in how they should be represented. This representation starts with a clean, credible register and the LMVCA as people of Ghana have the right to talk about the need for a new register if the evidence is there to prove that the current register is more of an “ECOWAS” register than a Ghanaian register.

Freedom of expression is guaranteed in the Ghanaian constitution. Ghanaians can express themselves on national issues like the need for a new register for the election of next year. There is no way the voters register in its current form should be accepted to be used for the election of next year.

The EC must not have any responsibility beyond ensuring free and fair elections in Ghana. The Commission should not conduct itself as if it is also a political party or in an alliance with another political party that is loudly against a new credible register.

If the President can afford 10Million Ghana Cedis to print Presidential Diaries, it can as well make money available for serious projects like a new reliable and credible voters register for the republic of Ghana.

Calls for a new register are not negotiable and the Electoral Commission must know this and understand that it is not an NGO of Charlotte Osei.

Am done with this piece.

Akilu Sayibu

Email: Akisayi@yahoo.com