New voters register doesn’t guarantee credible polls – CDD

The Ghana Centre for Democratic Development, CDD- Ghana says a new voters’ register would not guarantee credible polls.

Deputy Director of the CDD, Dr. Franklin Oduro, said minor and double registration which affects credibility of the voters’ register would still happen if a new register is compiled. He rather called on political parties to be proactive in getting citizens to participate in the cleaning up exercise the register during an exhibition.

He said “doing a new voters’ register doesn’t mean we are not going to encounter problems that we may have in the current register… who are the people who encourage minors to go and register?

“And when it gets to the exhibition stage where parties are supposed to help clean and identify those that are not eligible to register, we don’t find them.”

The comments from the CDD come on the back of growing calls from some political parties for the Electoral Commission to put together a new voters’ register. The New Patriotic Party (NPP), the People’s National Convention (PNC) and the Convention People’s Party (CPP) have been campaigning to have the current voters’ register replaced.

The parties argued the current one is flawed and cannot be relied on for the 2016 general elections.

They believe compiling a new register is a first step towards enhancing the integrity and credibility of the 2016 polls. But Ghana Centre for Democratic Development, CDD- Ghana argues the way forward is not just to have a new voters’ register.

The centre says as the country prepares for the 2016 elections, the political parties and voters must be educated on the electoral process. Dr. Oduro said “it is not good when a country is going for elections and parties begin to query or question the credibility of the voters register.

“What it means is that some warning signs are being put out there and that we don’t trust the register and therefore some party or someone may decide to use that to reject the results because they would say we warned that we don’t trust the register.

“That is why the electoral commission must not just sit down, it is important to meet with the stakeholders” to thoroughly check the veracity of the concerns being raised by the political parties.

The last presidential general elections in 2012 ended at the Supreme Court, with the NPP accusing the electoral commission of presiding over an election fraught with irregularities.


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