More Support New Voters’ Register

Razak Poku

The Concerned
Voters Movement (CVM) under the leadership of Razak Kojo Opoku has thrown its
support behind the Electoral Commission (EC) to compile a new voters’ register.

The arguments by
the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Centre for Democratic Development (CDD)
and the Inter-Party Resistance against the New Voters Register (IPRAN) are
baseless, misleading and completely bogus; the leader of the political pressure
group has pointed out in a press statement.

The arguments of
timelines, cost and rigging as the basis for the rejection of the new register
by the NDC, CDD, IPRAN and others smack of intellectual dishonesty.

The EC under the
NDC administration in 2012 compiled a new voters’ register between the periods
of April to May and created additional 45 constituencies, bringing the total to
275 for the 2012 general elections within the same period, he recalled.

Under all these
circumstances the NPP as the largest opposition party then, never objected to
the compilation of the 2012 new biometric voters’ register and the creation of
additional 45 constituencies, all within the period of the election year 2012, Poku
added.

“For the avoidance
of doubt, the 1992 voters’ register was used for nine years before it was
changed, 2004 voters’ register was used for eight years before it was changed
and now the 2012 voters’ register is eight years old and it must be changed. No
voters’ register has been used for 10 years before it was changed,” CVM
stressed.

Charlotte Osei, he
continued “spent GH¢487, 998, 714.00 for just a limited registration exercise
in 2016, a waste of public funds. Fast forward to 2020, Jean Mensa leading the
EC under Akufo-Addo, wants to spend a Parliament approved budget of GH¢390,
265,186.44 for a completely new voters’ register ahead of the 2020 general
elections. This is what we call value for money.”

The fear that a
new voters’ register could be used to rig the polls suggests that the NDC used
the roll to rig the elections of 2012 and suspects the NPP could do same, the
group added.

“The NPP won the
last elections by a wide margin with the current register and should support
its maintenance. The right thing must be done. The current register is obsolete
and cannot continue to be used for polls in the country,” the group went on.

A new voters’
register is a sure way of introducing novelties such as the implementation of
ROPAL among others, CVM suggested. 

In a related
development, another pressure group, Grassroots for
Power Movement have warned those preparing to protest against the compilation
of a new register through demonstration to lace their boots for counter
protests in the streets.

In a
press release after the Tamale demonstration against the ECs decision to
compile a new register, the Grassroots indicated their preparedness to hit the
streets to drum home their approval of the move by the EC to compile a new
voters’ register.  They said the credibility of the old register had been
disrepute and the question marks surrounding it were too many for it to
continue to serve as a roll of voters in the country.

They
vowed not to sit aside and look while a few group of individuals in the country
attempt to disrupt the EC from doing their work.

National Communications Director of the pressure group Noah Asare and Michael Okyere signed the press release.