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Politics of Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Source: The New Statesman

Wontumi to sue EC if it fails to re-register affected voters

The Ashanti regional chairman of the opposition New Patriotic Party, Bernard Antwi Boasiako, says he will take legal action against the Electoral Commission if it fails to re-register all the affected persons whose names were removed from the electoral roll, even though they did not use National Health Insurance Scheme cards.

According to the regional chairman, the posture of the Commission in the ongoing exhibition exercise, particularly in NPP strongholds, clearly, shows that it is determined to disenfranchise many voters to favour President John Mahama.

“No one should be left unregistered. Ghanaians must charge the EC to do the right thing. It was not through the fault of theirs that their names were deleted. The EC caused it and must deal with it,” Mr. Antwi Boasiako stated.

He explained that per the Supreme Court’s verdict on the Abu Ramadan case, the EC was ordered to delete names of all NHIS registrants in the register, and subsequently make provisions for them to register.

But this, in the view of Chairman Wontumi, is not what the EC is doing, considering the poor preparations, poor coordination and the anomalies that have characterised the exercise which is in its ninth day.

Speaking to party members and sympathisers during a campaign launch in the Bosomtwe constituency of the NPP, Bernard Boasiako noted that, looking at the problems that had characterised the exhibition in the last eight days, there was no way the commission could re-register all the affected persons.

“There are several constituencies in this region where those who are affected are more than 1500. In Atwima Mponua constituency where over 1,700 people had their names deleted from the register, less than half of these people have had the chance to re-register as we talk now,” he disclosed.

Chairman Wontumi further added that the commission’s computerised machine could only capture a hundred names in a day barring any problems. This makes it impossible to re-register all affected persons in a constituency where thousands of individuals have had their names deleted.

“What will then happen to the fate of those seven hundred and over people? I am cautioning the Electoral Commission and its chairperson Charlotte Osei to refrain from doing things that would disenfranchise Ghanaians,” he said.

He encouraged all voters to verify their names in the exercise in order to cast their votes in December and urged Ghanaians to be wide awake and report any dubious dealings of the commission and its officials to the party.

He assured that the NPP was ready to ensure that no single voter in the Ashanti region was disenfranchised. He again called on party executives to treat any information that comes to them with seriousness.

“Let me again urge you not to sleep because this is not the hour for merry making. Ghanaians are waiting for us to give them a new hope and direction. The people have hope in us, and we must not let them down again,” the regional chair admonished

He had some advice for Ghanaians and party faithful: “Go and work for the good of your future, the future of Ghana and the youth. This victory is not for Nana Addo and the NPP alone, but this victory is for a change that will give respite to all of us, a victory that will see a revamp of NHIS, free maternal care and all the social intervention programmes.”

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