Child vouching for father’s citizenship is ‘madness, foolishness’ – EC told

The decision by the Electoral Commission to exclude birth certificate as a form of identification in the impending new voter’s registration exercise, continues to irk many as they likened it to ‘madness’ and ‘foolishness’.

For the General Secretary of the Federation of Labour, Abraham Koomson, a birth certificate is the “only credible” means of identifying one’s nationality.

The EC has a new Constitutional Instrument (CI) in Parliament to limit persons who can access the new voter’s ID card to those with ID cards issued by the National Identification Authority and those with passports or two guarantors who have gone through the registration process.

Some political parties and civil society groups are totally against the compilation of a new register as they prefer a review of the existing one.

“The problem we are facing in this country is being caused by EC, what they are doing is not normal,” Abraham Koomson told Johnnie Hughes on TV3’s Hot Issues on Tuesday.

He chided the electoral body in what he claimed to be a lack of “extensive consultation” in the process to get a new register, stressing, “they should be very careful; they are creating problems”.

He questioned the number of eligible voters in possession of passports, and also pointed out that the EC had initially made it known that the NIA card was not going to be one of the requirements to access a new voter ID card.

Mr. Koomson strongly believes people would be contracted, paid money to guarantee for people including unqualified persons, which further lowest the credibility of the new register.

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The EC is expected to start the one-month registration exercise later in June. According to Mr. Koomson, he has applied for a new passport and also gone through the process for NIA card, but he was yet to receive any of them.

In the event that he is unable to get either of them before the registration starts, he wondered if the EC expects him to bring his parents or chief from his hometown to guarantee for him in Accra where he resides.

“That one is the most useless process,” he charged, arguing that he falling on his children to vouch for him is “total madness, foolishness, it shouldn’t come in at all”.

Abraham Koomson believes the entrench position taken by the EC with regards to the new voter’s register is a proof that the Chairperson of the commission “is preparing the ground for some problem to engulf the country. What sort of nonsense is this?”

He also mentioned that it was wrong for the police to arrest persons cautioning the EC when it is treading on dangerous grounds.

The new register when compiled would be used for Ghana’s forthcoming general elections in December to elect a president and 275 Members of Parliament.

By Isaac Essel |