Afari Gyan Again; Parties Raise Alarm Over New Register

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Mr. Agyarko stated, ‘Although a common register was compiled for both the presidential and the parliamentary elections, it turned out, from the results declared by the EC, that the total number of registered voters in respect of the presidential election exceeded that of the registered voters for the parliamentary elections by 127,210 voters.’

It was also proven in court, he maintained, ‘that some of the voter ID numbers supposedly belonging to some of the foreign registered voters could not be found on the general voters’ register, that is to say they were fake identities.’

Afari-Gyan’s Admission
‘These were admitted to by the Chairman of the EC in court, but till date, we have no idea as to what the exact number of registered voters in Ghana is. And yet still, the EC wants to go ahead and conduct additional registration, without cleaning the voters’ register? This, certainly, does not bode well for future elections in our dear nation.’

Bloated Register
Boakye Agyarko also quoted from statements made by Dr.  Afari-Gyan in the run-up to the 2008 elections, about the statistical acceptability of voter registers across the world.

Dr. Afari-Gyan, in an interview with Joy FM in 2008 said, ‘If our population is indeed 22 million, then perhaps 13 million people on our register would be statistically unacceptable by world standards. If that is the case, then it may mean that there is something wrong with our register.’

Mr. Agyarko explained that as per Dr. Afari-Gyan’s assertions in 2008, a voter register containing 12,472,758 out of a population of 22 million persons – which represents a percentage of 56.69% – was statistically unacceptable, then a 56.20% voter population in 2012 is clearly statistically unacceptable.

‘Nigeria, which has a population of 162,470,737, has a voter population of 67,764,327, representing 41.7%. Kenya, with a population of 41,609,728 has a voter population of 14,362,189, representing 34.50%. Tanzania, with 42.50% and Senegal with 41.50% of registered voters to their total populations, are all significantly lower than Ghana’s. South Africa, who recently had its elections, boast of a voter population of 25,390,159 out of a population of some 53 million people, representing 47.9% of the total population.

‘Why is Ghana’s percentage so high? One does not need rocket science to tell us that there is something fundamentally wrong with our voters’ register,’ he stressed.

PNC Youth Wing
The Youth Wing of the People’s National Convention (PNC) is also asking the EC to suspend the planned new voter registration exercise.

A press statement signed by the National Youth Organizer of the PNC, Abu Ramadan, said the ‘youth wing demands a suspension of the voter registration exercise pending an audit of the 2012 voter register.’

The group is also asking for an immediate Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting with the EC.

Injunction
The party said it would go to court to secure an injunction against the exercise if their demands were not met.

‘We are giving the EC a two-week ultimatum to respond to our demands as major stakeholders in the process. Failure to heed we will resort to all legal means at our disposal. We will not sit and allow the Electoral Commission to plunge this nation into chaos,’ it warned.

‘The EC should abrogate the contract with STL and re-open tender to allow stakeholders to be part of the selection process in the interest of Ghana,’ it further asked.

Intriguing 
‘Is it not intriguing that the Electoral Commission, regardless of the huge electoral mishap and the novelty of a Supreme Court case, has decided in their wisdom to throw caution to the wind by coming up with a registration announcement?’ the party quizzed.

They observed that ‘if the Supreme Court and His Lordship Justice Dotse’s recommended reforms in his ruling is to be taken into account, then there is an obvious billowing smoke of catastrophe in our line-up to the general elections.’

Why NHIS Cards?
The party wondered why the NHIS card should be a basis for the provision of a voter ID card since the health insurance card is given to all, regardless of nationality.

STL
PNC demanded a comprehensive detail of the STL contract with the EC, adding that this be made public.

The PNC faulted the manner in which the STL was awarded the EC contract, regarding the process as ‘Nicodemus.’

Coalition For Free Elections
The Coalition For Free, Fair and Transparent Elections (COFFTRE) asked the EC to tell Ghanaians how it intends to deal with what it termed anomalies in the 2012 Voter Register before the commencement of the limited registration exercise.

This was contained in a statement the group issued yesterday, which was signed by its National Convener, Kenneth Agyei Kuranchie and the National Coordinator Joseph Otoo.

By AR Gomda
 

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