The General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia says the party will challenge the Electoral Commission’s (EC) decision to compile a new voters’ register.
He said the NDC will do all it can to prevent the EC from leading political parties and Ghanaians into a “dangerous and confusing situation.”
“That decision [by the EC] goes against the Constitution that actually established the Electoral Commission and so we are going to contest that one. This is the beginning, it is not the end at all, so don’t let anybody be confused that when EC comes out to announce anything, even if it is unconstitutional, that settles the disagreement. The disagreement is just about to begin,” he said on Eyewitness News on Wednesday.
The Electoral Commission on Wednesday held a two-session IPAC meeting on the controversial issue of the compilation of a new voters’ register and a decision was taken that the exercise will commence next month.
But Asiedu Nketia accused the EC of turning the forum of the Interparty Advisory Committee (IPAC) into one where it only informs election stakeholders of its decision rather than a forum that allows for dialogue and consensus.
“If IPAC has been changed into a forum where information is just released to us, then IPAC has lost its meaning and it will be a waste of time for anyone to be part of it…The Electoral Commission has taken a decision, not IPAC…The decision was not presented for endorsement,” he said.
He indicated that the timelines announced by the EC are unworkable and lies in potential breach of the law.
“Filing of nominations according to the law should be happening in September and you need final voters’ register to be able to file nominations by September. So according to the timetable, the register will not be ready by September so they are walking us into a very dangerous and confusing situation and they are still proud about it,” Asiedu Nketia stressed.
We’re fighting for Ghanaians
He said the NDC’s position must not be viewed as a party fighting for its own interest but for the benefit of all Ghanaians.
According to Asiedu Nketiah, the NDC is poised to educate the public on the implications of the EC’s planned action and how they could be disenfranchised.
“Whatever action we will take, you will hear about it. It is not about NDC per se… We consider it a part of our duty to intensify public education to let the public know the impact of what Electoral Commission (EC) wants to do to them and I believe that if they [Ghanaians] all become aware of what the EC is doing, they will exercise their power to prevent the EC from disenfranchising them,” he said.
New voters’ register brouhaha
The Electoral Commission’s decision to compile a new voters’ register has been met with mixed reactions from the political front.
Whereas the NDC and some opposition parties are against the decision, the NPP and 12 other political parties have backed the move.
Although the exercise is currently on hold, the EC says it will observe the necessary safety protocols if the time comes for the registration exercise to commence.