Voters’ Register Is Bogus – Nana
Nana Akufo-Addo interacting with delegates in Tamale yesterday
‘Our message to Dr. Afari-Gyan and the Electoral Commission is simple. We need a register that truly represents those who are entitled to vote in Ghana. The current register is bogus. We are not interested in playing the blame game. We are only interested in doing what is right for our democracy. Let us all work together on this. Ghanaian elections should not be West African elections.’
These were the words of Nana Akufo-Addo when he addressed the delegates of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) at the Radach Memorial Hall in Tamale, Northern Region, ahead of the special delegates’ congress and presidential primary of the party.
As a first step before the district assembly elections, Nana Akufo-Addo called on the Electoral Commission (EC) to heed to the calls of civil society and political parties (including PPP, PNC, CPP and NPP) to allow for an independent forensic audit of the existing biometric voters’ register.
‘I am told the entire process – from the opening of competitive international bids to the completion of the forensic biometric audit – could take up to a couple of months. This first step can be taken before the next district assembly elections. To do this will send a strong signal to the country that the Electoral Commission is sincere and serious on the question of electoral reforms. Let the audit of the current register serve as a key step to restoring public confidence in our electoral system. It is an important decision that we have to take to consolidate our democracy,’ Nana Akufo-Addo stated.
He made these comments after Wednesday’s ruling by the Supreme Court, which prohibited the EC from allowing the use of the National Health Insurance Scheme cards as one of the requirements for the voters’ registration exercise.
He congratulated the plaintiffs, Abu Ramadan, Evans Nimako and Kwasi Danso-Acheampong, on their patriotism, and also congratulated the Supreme Court, under the leadership of the Chief Justice, Georgina Theodora Wood, on their decision.
The process for electoral reforms, according to Nana Addo, had started with the decision by the Supreme Court.
‘That decision means sorting out the voters’ register – the base document for elections – is the first major step. My message to you here and to all Ghanaians is that we cannot compromise on our push to get electoral reforms. We must do it and do it well to protect our democracy,’ he charged.
On the announcement made by the EC regarding the setting of a new date for the limited registration exercise – from Monday, August 4 to August 13, 2014 – Nana Akufo-Addo said that had to be done, as the Constitution requires, before the next public election – the district assembly election.
However, Nana Addo indicated that the exercise would amount to ‘adding more names to a register that is already discredited.’ He urged the EC to listen to the calls for a credible register and do what is required to achieve that.
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