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Opinions of Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Columnist: Dr. Nurudeen Mohammed

Why NPP insists that voter's register is bloated with Burkinabes

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Insisting that Ghana’s electoral register is bloated with names of Togolese, Burkinabe and Ivorian citizens, commentators of New Patriotic Party (NPP) have justified the elimination of some 1,111,472 voters in the Upper East and Upper West regions, from the electoral register.

The NPP commentators maintain that the current voter’s register is bloated with names of nationals from Ghana’s neighboring countries and for that matter the current voters ID cards will not be accepted as primary document in the compilation of the new voters register, announced by the Electoral Commission (EC).

The Upper East and West regions which are on the borders with Burkina Faso are accused by the NPP of having Burkinabes in the majority, hence bloating the electoral register in the two regions.

663,508 and 447,964 voters in the Upper East and Upper West regions, respectively, have been denied Ghana Card, the breeding document that the Electoral Commission intends to use to compile a new voters’ register, and without which these voters cannot vote in the 2020 polls.

Led by the Communications Director of the NPP, Mr Yaw Buabeng Asamoah, NPP spokespersons say, the voters register is bloated with non-Ghanaians hence the need to scrap it and also not use the current voter ID card as a breeding document for a new voters’ register.

Mr. Asamoah, who spoke on Adom TV Saturday morning show, also transmitted live on Asempa FM, argued forcefully that foreigners on the voters register used the National Health Insurance Card to secure the voters ID card, hence the need to compile a new voters’ register. Explanation that the EC prior to 2016, removed names of about 50,000 voters who registered with the NHIA card from the register, could not satisfy the NPP chief propagandist. Mr. Buabeng Asamoah insisted that the 50,000 voters deleted in 2015 and asked to re-register was not satisfactory enough, hence the need for a total rejection of the current register.

To remove the names of those the NPP suspect to be foreigners on the voters register, the governing party in conjunction with the Electoral Commission and the National Identification Authority (NIA) have engineered a means to reconstruct a new voters’ register.

The NIA, being the first partner in the tripartite then skewed its registration exercise in the Upper East and Upper West regions, by registering and issuing cards to only 5.17% of the adult population in the Upper West and 6.36% in the Upper East regions. The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has therefore held press conferences to expose the motive of eliminating about 93% of existing voters in the two Upper regions, from the voters register in those two regions.

The NDC is incensed by the conspiracy to remove 93% of Upper East and Upper West voters from the electoral register, and therefore held a press conference last Thursday to challenge the decision of the Electoral Commission to reject the Voters’ ID Card and rely on NIA’s Ghana Card as the breeder document to obtaining a new Voter ID card.

This is the expos? by the NDC which led to swift responses from NPP commentators on radio and social media who insist that the voters register is bloated with names of foreigners who used the NHIA card as identification to secure the biometric register.

The NPP commentators throughout the weekend relied on a 2015 Press Conference addressed by the then NPP Running Mate, Dr Mahamoud Bawumia, who claimed he had discovered nearly 1 million foreigners on Ghana’s Voters’ register and went on to describe the current register as irredeemably flawed.
On radio, TV, Facebook and Twitter, the NPP representatives replied to the NDC position by saying that the NPP has been consistent with its position that the voters register is bloated by foreigners, hence the decision to do a new register by removing the names of foreigners.

An argument which conclusively describes the over 1.1 million voters in the Upper East and Upper West regions, as foreigners and undeserving of voting rights in Ghana.

Analysis by Dr. Nurudeen Mohammed, Political Analyst