President of IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe fears the freshly-compiled voters’ register could lead to the governing New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) loss in the December 7, 2020, general elections.
He says the NPP’s arguments against the old register, which it claimed was bloated, have been proven to be flawed, given the figures provided by the Electoral Commission (EC) after the registration exercise.
On The Big Issue on Saturday, Mr. Cudjoe reiterated his critique of the party and the electoral management body for deceiving Ghanaians as well as wasting national resources for a venture he feels was of no relevance to the country’s electoral reforms.
Franklin Cudjoe thus ridiculed the NPP for rather losing some numbers in a few of its strongholds and failing in its bid to intimidate registrants in the areas which are key to the opposition’s National Democratic Congress (NDC) chances in the polls, because the reasons given for the compilation of the new electoral roll were fundamentally illogical and baseless.
“I want to now believe that the NPP must move away from this long-held belief that the register was bloated. It was not based on science, logic or statistics. In fact with the border towns that they claim, apart from the voter suppression and intimidation we saw by the military, even Ketu South turned margins that are consistent with times.”
“What has actually happened is that some of their strongholds have either marginally or drastically reduced. Look at Ahafo-Ano and some parts of the Ashanti Region. Anytime the NPP has been in power and actually promoted the conduct of the new register, they lose the election. If anybody has benefitted from this register, it is certainly not the NPP. So if you think it is just numbers that will let you win an election, the data has not borne us out”, he noted.
Statistics must shape policies
The voter registration exercise ended with 16,963,306 persons registered to vote.
These provisional figures, as announced by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa, are pending processes of deduplication and adjudication.
It includes the 30,814 persons registered during the two-day mop-up registration exercise over the weekend.
But arguing that the numbers recorded during the mass voter registration exercise would not have been so different if the old register was used, Franklin Cudjoe said the current turn of events means the time has come for Ghana to begin taking policy decisions that are well-grounded in “sound statistics”
“I think this country must allow sound statistics and policy to drive conversations. Look at the data, it does not serve anybody in terms of suggesting that the register was bloated. What we have done is that the EC managed to pull the wool off our eyes and in the end wasted US$ 120 million more than they would have really had. We have conferred on ourselves that we are statistically inept.”