The Keep My Vote Alive Alliance has opined that the Electoral Commission has not inspired enough confidence among Ghanaians that it is committed to holding a free, fair and transparent election in the 2020 elections.
The group explained that one of the key ingredients for a successful election is a credible and unquestionable electoral register and adds that the EC has failed to exhibit that the register will be credible.
Convener of the group Anthony Agee-Kum has thus called on the EC to extend the exhibition period by two weeks to allow for due diligence across exhibition centers.
Below is the Press Statement
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, we are once again humbled by your presence and continual interest in projecting matters that threatens the collapse of our long-standing democracy that our forefathers birthed through grand toil.
It is rather unfortunate that we are gathered here today to talk on an issue that was predicted a couple of months ago. Can we be so wrong to describe as ‘self-inflicted’ the unprecedented errors recorded across the country from the ongoing voter’s exhibition exercise undertaken by the EC?
All the intellectual arguments were tabled on why it was not practicable for the EC to compile a new voters register in about six months to a major election.
Aside the value-for-money justification conducted by high profile CSOs like IMANI Africa, many of us thought the upsurge of the COVID 19 pandemic was enough a deterrence, but quite unfortunately, the Jean Mensa/Asare Bossman/Serebour -led EC remained adamant.
It was not surprising that the issue ended up in court after all the intellectual arguments, demonstrations, advocacies had been exhausted.
The EC switched to a last minute justification that the previous register was not credible, to hold a free and fair election, with its popular description of it as “a fruit of a poisoned tree” in a justification for a new register on its legal battle with the major opposition NDC.
Ghanaians were now highly anticipating the EC, who were given clearance to discard the poisoned tree, will now go ahead to plant a fresh tree that will produce good fruits by December 7.
Unfortunately, the widespread occurrence of irregularities across many parts of the exhibition centers, with barely two months to the election, is presenting a gloomy situation, leaving majority of us wondering if there is a Ghana beyond December 7.
In fact, the awkward and consistent misdemeanor of the EC is making Ghanaians miss the impeccable leadership of Afari Gyan, whose credibility still resonates and travel beyond borders.
WHAT ARE THE GROWING CONCERNS?
Since the commencement of the voter’s exhibition exercise, there have been mass occurrence of anomalies across major centers. The issue gained more prominence when the presidential candidate of the NDC, John Dramani Mahama and his running mate, halted their campaign activities and went back to Accra to address the nation over the development.
It is rather unfortunate that barely two months to the election, more energies are rather channeled to addressing issues of voter’s register, whose credibility will have a bearing on the outcome and stability of the December 2020 elections.
What is alarming is that, the electoral commissioner who earned praise with her meet the press series, has rather opted to delegate his PR duty to Serebour when more questions are now beign asked on;
1. Why the limited duration for the exhibition exercise?
2. Why the complete and mass omission or removal of registrants in some areas?
3. Why are copies of the register given to political parties at the neck of time?
4. Why is the voter exhibition ahead of the finalization of the adjudication process that was instituted by the EC itself?
5. Why reshuffling and mismatch of Personal Identification Numbers?
6. Why the numerous scenarios of same photograph on different Voter ID Cards?
7. Why the secret printing of voter’s ID cards registration without the representation of all political parties?
8. Why are same pin numbers issued to multiple applicants?
9. Why are the recorded anomalies only pervasive in some geographical areas purported to be the strong hold of the opposition political party.
After refusing to give scientific and compelling reasons for the above identified anomalies, the EC, on Thursday, 24th September, 2020, convened an IPAC meeting to announce of its intention of re-opening the register, for one day, particularly for persons who were unable able to register to do so. The EC also announced the extension of the registration exercise by just two days upon complaints that surfaced on the limited duration for the exhibition.
What a wow! Very strange indeed, that the constitution has given so much luxury to the EC to register people at will without any recourse to a constitutional instrument to back it up?
Clearly, the Jean Mensah-led EC is abusing its constitutional amenities, as these antics are no different from a quack doctor who appears to have a drug that can cure all types of ailments including malaria, fever, Corona virus, diabetes, etc.
The failure of the EC of why these anomalies is fast giving credence to the conspiracies held by many that either;
1. The electoral Commissioner is incompetent, as suggested by the former president John Mahama whilst addressing the issue a couple of days ago Or
2. The problems emanating from the exhibition centers are artificially induced by the EC to disenfranchise legitimate Ghanaians from participating in the upcoming December elections, to create an opportunity for the ruling NPP government to emerge victorious in the upcoming elections.
IMPLICATIONS ON UPCOMING DECEMBER ELECTIONS
I am sorry, but so far, the EC has not inspired enough confidence among Ghanaian voters that they are committed to holding a free, fair and transparent election come December 2020 election.
One of the key ingredient for every successful election is a credible and unquestionable electoral register, but it doesn’t appear Ghana’s electoral register has any of that left.
The earlier the electoral management body wakes from its slumber and initiate cogent measures to cure the several ills that have bedeviled our register the better for all of us.
We suggest that the EC should as a matter of urgency and priority;
1. Give concrete and justification on why the register, if not through magic, is behaving the way it is behaving.
2. The exhibition period should be extended by two weeks to allow for due diligence across the exhibition centers.
3. The EC should institute comprehensive measures to assure that no voter, who will be disenfranchised for no fault of theirs not to be denied the voting right come December 2020.
4. The EC needs a complete overhaul of its uninspiring electoral resolution mechanisms that is more inclusive, receptive and above all, proactive.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, thank you for honoring our invitation to cover this press conference and it is our fervent hope that through this continuous collaboration, we shall build a strong, resilient and robust electoral systems that will go a long way to RESTORE consolidate our democratic credentials.