Politics of Saturday, 2 January 2016
The Electoral Commission (EC) has rejected the call by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and scores of political activists for a new voters’ register and opted for the auditing and cleaning of the register for Elections 2016.
The Independent Panel set up by the Commission and tasked to look into the concerns of the NPP and views of stakeholders on the register finds the arguments for a new document unconvincing and therefore does not recommend it’s the replacement.
In a statement issued in Accra and copied to the Ghana News Agency by Mr Christian Owusu-Parry, Acting Director of Public Affairs, noted that the Panel is of the view that the responsibility for having a clean and credible register is the shared responsibility of all citizens.
It said the EC would continue to engage stakeholders to ensure that a clean and credible voters’ register is in place for the 2016 general election through an inclusive and collaborative audit process.
The Commission would publish the full report of the Panel on its website- www.ec.gov.gh by January 7 for the benefit of the public.
The EC informed the public that it has examined all the allegations and complaints made by the NPP on the voters’ register and has responded appropriately to the party.
According to the EC a copy of its findings into the claims made by the NPP would also be made available to the Public on the Commission’s website.
The Commission commended the members of the Panel led by Justice VCRAC Crabbe, the political parties, civil society organisations (CSOs), faith based organisations and other stakeholders for the support and cooperation shown to the Commission during the engagements on the register.
The EC reiterated its commitment to ensuring transparent, inclusive and credible general election in 2016 as well as democratic growth and stability.
The EC in pursuit of NPP’s agitation and counter proposal from the National Democratic Congress and scores of political activities set up a five-member panel tasked to hold a two-day public hearing on calls for compilation of a new voters’ register.
According to the EC, it took the decision due to the “petitions and calls it had received from some political parties, civil society groups and a number of Ghanaians for a new voters’ register”.
The Panel was made up of: Professor V.C.R.A.C. Crabbe, Co-Chair of the Coalition for Domestic Election Observers, former Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana, former Professor of Law, and former Electoral Commissioner of Ghana.
The rest were: the Most Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante, former Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Ghana and Chairman of the National Peace Council; and Mrs Grace Bediako, a former Government Statistician and former member of the National Development Planning Commission.
Others were: Nii Narku Quaynor, a renowned computer scientist, Chairman of the National Information Technology Agency Board of Directors, and President of the Internet Society of Ghana; and Maulvi Bin Salih, Ameer of the Ahmadiyya Mission of Ghana.