General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) John Boadu has disclosed that the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) boycotted the last meeting of the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) held on March 25, 2020 at the EC Conference Room.
He said the NDC then cited the Covid-19 situation in the country as their excuse for boycotting that meeting.
According to John Boadu, it was at that very meeting that the Electoral Commission, Ghana (EC) discussed details of its proposed amendments to the existing Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Regulations, 2016 (C.I. 91) for the conduct of Presidential and Parliamentary Elections.
The proposed amendments, he said, included the decision to exclude the existing voters’ ID card from the requirements for voter registration, among other things.
The NDC had, in a press conference addressed by its National Chairman, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, last Thursday, accused the EC of flouting Regulation 2(3) of C.I. 91 which mandates the Commission to inform political parties on any proposals for the amendments to the Constitutional Instrument (C.I. 91) not later than 21 days before the first day of the national registration of voters.
The largest opposition party proceeded on the basis of this to slam the election management body, accusing it of conspiring with the National Identification Authority (NIA) to rig the 2020 general elections for the governing NPP because it had consistently failed to involve the NDC in its processes.
The NDC also accused the EC of surreptitiously removing the existing voters’ ID card as well as birth certificate as part of requirements for compilation of a new register.
The General Secretary of the party, however, expressed shock at the conduct of the NDC, stating in a one-on-one interview on the AM Show on the Joy News Channel on Monday that the NDC is being desperate and hypocritical.
According to him, the NDC has rather chosen not to make itself available for such engagements with the EC.
“The NDC boycotted the last IPAC meeting at which meeting details of the EC’s CI on the registering of voters and the conduct of election 2020 was exhaustively discussed before it was laid in Parliament. How can you boycott a meeting and then months later, hold a press conference accusing the election management body of failing to discuss the CI with political parties? You just can’t understand the NDC’s desperation,” he disclosed.
The NPP chief scribe added that the parties were given ample opportunity to make inputs into the CI, a lot of which were taken on board by the EC in fine-tuning the document
On the exclusion of the exxisting voters’ ID card and birth certificate from the requirements for a new voter registration, John Boadu said a majority of the political parties at this meeting agreed with the EC’s proposal to exclude it and start on a clean slate having justified same.