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Opinions of Thursday, 21 May 2020

Columnist: Foster Segbe

Voters register brouhaha: The way forward


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Ghana gets prone to instability of peace due to the brouhaha surrounding the compilation of a new Voters’ Register which equates to a pending chaos per some citizens of the country. This can be easily prevented if The Supreme Court of Ghana is able to take the right action concerning this occurrence.

The year 2020 is almost five months gone. Ghana has just got seven months to prepare for the 2020 elections. If there is one particular event that threatens the stability of our dear nation Ghana, then that is the compilation of a new Voters’ Register.

Since the coming into force of the fourth republic from 1992 till date, there has not been any pressing issue that has brought about the shake in foundation of our peace except this.

An instance to this is the statement of Nana Obiri Boahen, Deputy General Secretary of the ruling NPP on Dadi 101.1 FM which states that they will beat people mercilessly if they try to disrupt the Compilation Process and that what happened at Ayawaso was just a tip of the iceberg. While A.B.A Fuseini, an NDC Member of Parliament said, he can tell without any iota of doubt that there will be chaos in the registration process.

Again, Rtd. Major Boakye Gyan foresees a likely civil war should the EC go ahead with the registration process of new voters.

Moving forward, some citizens of Ghana strongly believe the Electoral Commission has not got the legal mandate to compile Voters’ Register anytime they deem it necessary to albeit they being an independent body. Article 45 of The 1992 Constitution of Ghana gives the functions of the Electoral Commission and among them is; (a) to compile the register of voters and revise it as such periods as may be determined by law.

This is to say, the register needs to be compiled just once. Any subsequent work on the compilation of the register should be a revision as by article 45(a).

So the constitutional function of the EC towards the Voters’ Register is not to compile the register anytime they deem it fit. So to say, the compilations done in the fourth republic is illegality.

Meanwhile there are revered institutions in Ghana which the whole nation looks up to in such difficult times. Those institutions should know that posterity will blame them more than blaming the ordinary citizens should something happen.

I mean institutions like National Peace Council, The Christian Council, National Association of Pentecostal Churches, Catholic Bishop’s Conference, and The Muslim Council etc. If one will not say they are failing the nation, then one will say they have failed Ghana.

With the entrenched position taken by the NDC, and some opposition parties together with some Civil Society Organizations, the EC and the ruling party will soon put Ghana in a mess. None of these parties are ready to seed an inch of compromise.

Ultimately, the trump card to bringing Peace to this nation lies with the Supreme Court of Ghana. Luckily, the NDC has gone to the Supreme Court for the interpretation of Article 45(a) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana. Which when the Supreme Court does will settle all the controversies surrounding the compilation of a new voters register.

Meanwhile, the peace of Ghana now hangs on the action of the Supreme Court in that the earlier the interpretation, the earlier peace is resolved in our beloved country.

By: Foster Segbe

Volta Regional Secretary, Progressive Peoples’ Party.

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