The Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga, is pushing for the rejection of the Electoral Commission’s move to make the Ghana Card and Passports the only forms of identification before one could be registered onto to the yet to compiled new voters’ register.
Mahama Ayariga is bent on ensuring that Parliament rejects the EC’s request for such amendments to be made to the laws governing elections in Ghana.
The EC has presented the Public Election (Amendment) regulation, 2020 (C.I. 126) to Parliament to amend C.I 91 in order to change the identification requirements passed in 2016.
According to a Notice of Motion filed by Mr. Ayariga, and sighted by Citi News, the Bawku Central legislator wants Parliament to reject “the Public Election (Registration of Voters) (Amendments) Regulations 2020 (C.I. 126) pursuant to Article 11 (7) (c) of the Constitution of Ghana 1992.”
But it has been relaid multiple times because of various defects, which prompted the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu to question the commitment and competence of the Chairperson of the EC, Jean Mensa.
Some members of the Subsidiary Legislation Committee of Parliament have noted that the difficulties experienced in laying the instrument are due to the defects in it.
Aside from the Ghana Card or passport being acceptable documents for registering onto the voters’ register, persons who have already captured on the new voters’ register 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.”
Groups against decision
The attempts to amend the law come as the Commission is harbouring plans to embark on a new voter registration exercise.
The plan to compile a new register ahead of the general elections in December has over time sparked up a lot of controversies, with many parties and groups disagreeing to the move.
The Inter-Party Resistance Against New Voter Register, a group made up of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Convention People’s Party (CPP), People’s National Convention (PNC), Eagle Party, All People’s Party (APC), Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) have on several occasions demonstrated to express their disappointment against the EC’s decision.
Eighteen Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have also rejected the Electoral Commission’s proposal to compile a new electoral roll ahead of the 2020 elections.
The CSOs are Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), IMANI Africa, SEND Ghana, Africa Centre for International Law and Accountability (ACILA), Financial Accountability and Transparency – Africa (FAT-Africa), Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Youth Bridge Foundation, West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI), Citizens Movement against Corruption (CMaC) and Human Rights Advocacy Centre (HRAC).
These groups have cited the reason for their rejection as among other things, a waste of the taxpayers’ money.
They rather want the EC to update the current software rather than procuring a new one.
Below is the motion filed by Mahama Ayariga