General Secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party, John Boadu, has dared the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to boycott the voter registration exercise yet to be conducted by the Electoral Commission if it is indeed against the compilation of a new register.
The NDC and other opposition parties have kicked against the new registration announced by the Electoral Commission and have held two demonstration exercises to express their disapproval of the move.
But speaking to Godfred Akoto Boafo on Citi TV’s Face to Face on Tuesday, John Boadu said the NDC is being disingenuous in its opposition to the new register.
“While demonstrating, they [NDC] are [also] motivating their people to go out there and register. So, the good people of this country shouldn’t be deceived by this deception. We are waiting for the Electoral Commission to come out with the days and plan for the movement of their machines and the periods for the registration exercise for us to get ourselves registered. If the NDC believes in what they are saying, they should boycott it when it gets to the registration date. Election or registration is not compulsory in this country,” he said.
New voters’ register brouhaha
The EC’s decision to compile a new voters’ register as well as upgrade its election management system has been met with stiff opposition.
The processes are to be undertaken with some GHS390 million approved by Parliament weeks ago for that and other purposes.
But a number of stakeholders including some opposition parties and Civil Society Organizations have kicked against the EC’s intention, urging it to at least consider it after the 2020 polls.
Some other political parties including the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and pro-government social groups have thrown their weights behind the EC, although the NDC and the others have vowed to resist the EC’s move, fueling tension in recent times.
The Coalition of Domestic Observers (CODEO) adding its voice to the controversy said there is an urgent need for the Electoral Commission, stakeholders including political parties and Civil Society Organizations to meet and fashion out a way to address the ensuing controversy over the EC’s proposed electoral reforms.
CODEO said the move has become necessary following the rising tension between the EC and some opposition parties.
CODEO in its statement on the matter said the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) which has for many years been the platform for discussing and resolving election administration disputes must be used to address the ensuing controversy.
“The best way to get a resolution around these issues and to move the process forward is by providing an avenue for dialogue and consultation which also recognizes the constitutional mandate of the EC guided by several subsidiary rules to administer and manage the electoral processes in Ghana, and bearing in mind the electoral timetable. At the same time, the EC needs to acknowledge that not all electoral administration and related disputes are just a matter of law, but of political governance which requires transparency, accountability and the building of trust between the Election Management Body (EMB) and all stakeholders, including the general public,” CODEO noted.
Political parties against new register suspend demo
Meanwhile, the NDC and other opposition parties kicking against the new register have suspended subsequent demonstration exercises.
The NDC’s National Chairman, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo at the second demonstration in Kumasi on Tuesday [January 21, 2020] said the suspension is to allow for the EC’s Eminent Persons Advisory Body to intervene to get the EC to grant them audience at an IPAC meeting.