by;brightwebtv/nana asare barimah
The Electoral commission has responded to allegations by the National Democratic Congress that it was conniving with the National Identification Authority (NIA) to rig the upcoming 2020 general elections in favour of the governing party, NPP.
According to the Electoral commission, their outfit is no position to conspire with any political party or institution as being speculated by the NDC to rig elections, as the electoral processes remain transparent at all levels.
In a press statement signed by the Acting Director of Public Affairs at the EC, Sylvia Annoh, this is just another attempt by the main opposition party, the NDC, to undermine the image and integrity of the institute by “peddling untruths and falsehoods.”
On Thursday, the NDC had held a press briefing to accuse the EC among other things of conspiring with the ruling NPP and the NIA to rig Election 2020.
According to them, the use of the National Identification card and passport as evidence of identification during registration despite the limited number of Ghanaians who have these requirements was unfortunate.
However in response, the EC says the use of the National Identification card and the passport is essential to aid in the elimination of unqualified names in the register, thus calling for the amendment of the CI 91 which is currently before parliament.
“Further, an applicant who does not have the Ghana card or Passport may resort to obtaining two (2) guarantors to facilitate their registration and therefore, the exclusion of the Voter ID card as a requirement will not lead to suppression of votes.
“Moreover, the new CI, if passed by parliament, will afford guarantors the opportunity to guarantee for upwards of ten (10) applicants instead of five (5) as stipulated in the current CI. This makes it possible for applicants without Ghana card and passports to also register.”
They debunked the notion that Commissioners of Oath were required during the registration process, as propagated by the NDC and explained why Birth certificates were not a requirement for registration.
“It is worthy to note that the Commission does not require the services of Commissioners of Oath during registration of voters as alluded to by Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo.
“It must be put on record that the Ghana card has been a requirement in the current CI since 2012.
“Additionally, the Birth Certificate has never been used as a requirement since 1995 because it does not contain a photograph for purposes of identification.”
In response to the NDC’s questioning why Thales (DIS) was selected as the vendor for the Biometric devices, the EC explained that the selection of Thales (DIS) had gone through “all the relevant processes in strict adherence to the procurement law and in a transparent manner.”
According to the EC, their decision to use data from the NIA does not exclude the use of the Ghana card as a requirement for the upcoming registration, “as it has always been a requirement under the CI since 2012.”
They finally stated that despite concerns from the main opposition and the some section of the public to halt the upcoming registration due to health reasons amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the EC has assured all and sundry that it will adhere to the safety protocols of the Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Health.
“The cluster system was adopted in 2012 for the Voters’ Registration exercise and this system did not lead to overcrowding.
“It is therefore astonishing that the NDC is claiming otherwise since this system does not seek to do away with registration at each polling station,” they stated.