Seven opposition parties have expressed reservations at the Electoral Commission’s decision to restrict the upcoming voter registration exercise to its district offices.
The parties want they EC to open up the process to the electoral areas so as not to disenfranchise voters eligible voters who are yet to be captured on the national voter roll.
The EC has scheduled the exercise to start from 12 September to 2 October 2023.
EC Chairperson Jean Mensa announced that the exercise would be held in all the 268 district offices of the EC across the country.
The seven parties: Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG), Convention People’s Party (CPP), People’s National Congress (PNC), All Progressives Congress (APC), National Democratic Party (NDP), and the Ghana Freedom Party (GFP), however, do not support the move.
At a press conference in Accra on Monday, 21 August 2023, the General Secretary of the GCPP, Frederick Ato Dadzie, said the move will sideline some potential voters.
“Some Civil Society members present also opined that to ensure the electoral process is participatory and decentralised, it should include, if not all, some electoral areas in a cluster form as done in the past”.
“At least, if the EC cannot do more than 1,500 registration centres as done in 2019, they should maintain the status quo”, he proposed.
“We, therefore, suggested that the EC can use 7 days to do the registration exercise at the electoral areas and use another 7 days to do a mop-up exercise at their district offices to even save them time and cost”, he told journalists on behalf of the seven parties.
He said: “The Electoral Commissioners informed us that they have taken our concerns and ‘will get back to us’, a phrase we are well-accustomed to and, so, pushed further for timelines, and they indicated by close of day Monday.”
“Most of us were, therefore, taken aback when we only heard and saw on radio and TV that the Electoral Commission has set a date for the registration exercise and will use only their district offices as registration centres”.
“In conclusion, we also want to publicly call on the Electoral Commission through its Chair, Jean Mensa, to rescind their decision and make the process more accessible and painless to enable the average Ghanaian who is eligible to exercise their right and entitlement to be registered as a voter.”
“This will reflect in the EC’s commitment in building a solid and credible institution to protect the strong and enviable record of Ghana as a beacon of democracy that will continue to be worthy of emulation across the continent.”