EC seeking to compile a new electoral roll after loss of some of its data – Sammy Gyamfi

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The National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Sammy Gyamfi has said that the Electoral Commission (EC) is seeking to compile new voter’s register because it has lost some of of its data.

Sammy Gyamfi said the elections management body is unable to come out publicly to announce that it is seeking to compile a new electoral roll.

Speaking on the ”Pae Mu Ka show with Yaa Titi Okrah on Onue FM, Sammy Gyamfi said “The Electoral Commission has lost some of its data and so they are seeking to compile a new register. Their plan is to compile a new register but they cannot come out to say that publicly.

“They want to throw away the old register and so they are seeking to introduce a new law that will make the GhanaCard the only form of identification document.”

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The EC, in June this year, placed before Parliament a draft C.I titled: Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Regulations, 2021, which is expected to regulate continuous voter registration.

Per the new C.I, which would become law after 21 sitting days of Parliament, the EC is seeking to make the Ghana Card the sole form of identification for eligible voters who want to get unto the electoral roll.

The C.I has been referred to the Subsidiary Legislation Committee of Parliament. By convention, the committee is chaired by a member of the Minority group.

Orders, rules or regulations made pursuant to provisions of the Constitution or an Act of Parliament must be laid before Parliament for 21 sitting days before they come into force.

The Opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) also reacted to this development.

The party said “For the avoidance of doubt, the NDC wishes to state, unequivocally, that it has not been a party to any such consultation or meeting in whatsoever form that resulted in any such decision. The NDC will fully apprise the general public of the implications of the statements made by the Electoral Commission in the coming days on this absurd and unreasonable this decision of the EC.

“In the meantime, the party wishes to use this opportunity to remind the Electoral Commission that under Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution, every Ghanaian of eighteen years and above and of sound mind is entitled to register as a voter for the purposes of elections. This right to register and exercise one’s franchise is an inalienable right that should not be denied citizens who qualify to exercise same.

The EC has however has denied claims that it is seeking to compile new voters’ register. Director of Electoral Services Department, Dr Serebour Quaicoe, said the body was not compiling a new register because the one that was put together for the 2020 polls is credible.

Speaking in an interview with TV3 on this matter, Dr Serebuor Quacoe said “we are not compiling a new voters’ register. The one we compiled in 2020 is a credible one, a very good register so we are not dispensing it. But you and I are aware that people have been saying that, why don’t you roll out continues registration so that when somebody turns 18, the person goes to our offices and register.

“That is exactly what we are doing. What we are seeking to do is that, we are coming out with a new Constitutional Instrument (CI) which we have had series of Inter-Party Advisory meetings (IPAC) meetings with the political parties.

“Obviously, the NDC has not been attending IPAC meetings of late, after 2020 they have not been attending but all the political parties have been attending and they can all attest to the fact that we have taken them through the new CI, we have discussed everything thoroughly.

“So, what we are saying is that, if people are going to register any day at our district offices, then they need some credible form of identification and it is possible that once it is going to be continues the political parties will not be there to be guaranteeing or objecting to.

“So why don’t we emphasize on the Ghana Card so that once you have your Ghana Card, we believe that you might have gone through the screening, so you come to our office with the Ghana and we will enroll you onto the register. We are talking of continues registration of people who have not registered, we are not using the data from the National Identification Authority (NIA).”

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