The Electoral Commission (EC) has withdrawn and re-laid the Public Elections Amendment Regulations in Parliament for the second time in less than seven days.
The EC first presented the Constitutional Instrument on March 16 to amend C.I. (Constitutional Instrument) 91 to make the Ghana Card or passport acceptable documents for registration onto the voters’ register.
Some members of the Subsidiary Legislation Committee say the difficulties experienced in laying the instrument is due to the defects in it.
A Ranking Member on the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, Inusah Fuseini noted in a Citi News interview that when the document was laid in Parliament, “it was not accompanied with a schedule” hence was withdrawn and re-laid.
Aside from the Ghana Card or a passport being acceptable documents for registration onto the voters’ register, persons who have already registered to acquire the new voters’ card can guarantee for others to register.
Per the Constitutional Instrument that was first put before Parliament, “a person who applies for registration as a voter shall provide as evidence of identification one of the following: a passport, a national identification card, or one voter registration identification guarantee form as set out in Form one of the schedule that has been completed and signed by two registered voters.”
It also stated that a registered voter “shall not guarantee the identity of more than 10 persons”.
The instrument is expected to be scrutinised by the Subsidiary Legislation Committee, chaired by a former Deputy Attorney-General, Dr Domnic Ayine, and is expected to mature in 21 days.
If Parliament approves the amendment, it will mean that other forms of national identity such as the existing voters’ ID card, a driver’s licence and other national documents cannot be used in registering for the new voters’ ID card.
The Commission was set to compile a new electoral roll on April 18 but the exercise was suspended because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.