Ghana’s Electoral Commission has concluded that there would be no new voter’s register for the 2016 elections adding that “arguments for a new register [were] unconvincing.”
This follows the Electoral Commissions review of the report submitted to it by the 5 member committee set up to consider proposals over whether to compile a new voters register or maintain and audit the current one.
The debate raged for several months with the biggest opposition political party in Ghana, the New Patriotic Party – NPP, calling for a totally new register after it said there were evidence of multiple registration and several other anomalies.
The governing National Democratic Congress on the other hand said the said anomalies should only be rectified and cleansed from the register adding there was no need for an entirely new register.
The 5 member panel upon listening to both sides and several other proposals put together its report and submitted it to the Electoral Commission.
It is on the back of this that the Electoral Commission has concluded on 5 key points including the decision not to create a new voters register but maintain the current one.
Below is the statement from the EC:
ELECTORAL COMMISSION’S POSITION ON THE VOTERS’ REGISTER
The Electoral Commission is pleased to inform the general public that it has received the report submitted by the Independent Panel set up by the Commission and tasked to look into the concerns and views of stakeholders on the Voters’ Register.
Following the receipt of the report on December 21, 2015, the Commission has concluded its study of the report submitted by the Panel and wishes to advise the public as follows:
1. The Panel finds the arguments for a new register unconvincing and therefore does not recommend the replacement of the current voters’ register;
2. The Panel is of the view that the responsibility for having a clean and credible register is the shared responsibility of all citizens of Ghana;
3. The Electoral Commission accepts the recommendations of the Panel and will progressively implement the recommendations made therein;
4. The Electoral Commission will continue to engage stakeholders to ensure that a clean and credible voters’ register is in place for the 2016 general elections through an inclusive and collaborative audit process;
5. The Commission will publish the full report of the Panel on its website- www.ec.gov.gh by 7th January 2016 for the benefit of the public.
The Commission further wishes to inform the public that it has examined all the allegations and complaints made by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) on the voters’ register and has responded appropriately to the party.
A copy of the findings of the Commission into the claims made by the NPP will also be made available to the Public on the Commission’s website.
The Commission takes the opportunity to thank the members of the Panel led by His Lordship VCRAC Crabbe, the Political Parties, Civil Society Organizations, Faith Based Organizations and all stakeholders for the support and cooperation shown to the Commission during the engagements on the Voters’ Register.
The Commission reiterates its commitment to ensuring transparent, inclusive and credible general elections in 2016 and to ensuring democratic growth and stability in Ghana and takes the opportunity to wish all citizens of Ghana a blessed, peaceful and prosperous 2016.
ACTING DIRECTOR, PUBLIC AFFAIRS
By Martin Asiedu-Dartey/3news.com/Ghana