Stop the deception, we have the list – EC tells critics

Charlotte Osei
Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Charlotte Osei

The Electoral Commission has rubbished claims that it cannot compile the list of persons who registered as voters using National Health Insurance cards as a form of identification.

It described as “complete deception” for anyone to assert the Commission does not what it takes to compile a credible list of those who registered with the NHIS cards as voters ahead of the 2012 elections in the country.

A number of people and bodies have cast doubt over the EC’s ability to comply with the Supreme Court order to the Commission to submit the full list of persons on the country’s voters’ register who used NHIS cards as proof to register to vote.

They claim that the Commission does not have the database of such persons, hence would not be in a position to submit a credible list to the court by the June 29 deadline.

But the Commission on Saturday took to its official Facebook wall to discount such claims.

“It is a complete deception for anyone to claim that the EC cannot compile a credible list of voters who registered using the NHIS card as a form of identification, the Commission stated.

The EC said it would be false for anyone to assert that the Commission cannot comply with the orders of the Supreme Court.

“Wherein lies the difficulty when the EC has the primary document? The Commission will fully satisfy the request of the apex court,” the Commission said in the post.

Six-day ultimatum

The Supreme Court on Thursday issued a six-day ultimatum to the Electoral Commission to submit the list to the court as well as indicate in writing, the modalities it intends to use in removing the names of those persons from the country’s voter’s register which has generated hue and cry in the last months.

A five-member Supreme Court chaired by the Chief Justice Georgina T. Wood gave the orders following an earlier application filed by Abu Ramadan that sought clarification on the Court’s May 5 judgement.

The Court on May 5 ordered the electoral body to remove from Ghana’s current voter’s register, the names of all persons who used NHIS cards as proof to register and voted in the 2012 elections.

EC hits the ground running

The Commission told 3FM it is working around the clock to meet the Supreme Court’s order as it has no intentions whatsoever in disobeying the orders.

Head of Communications at the Commission, Eric Kofi Dzakpasu, said: “We are working hard to meet up to the orders given by the Supreme Court. We are law-abiding institution and have no intentions of disobeying the directives of the court,”

The doubts

Pressure Group Let My Vote Alliance commenting on Thursday’s ruling of the Supreme Court expressed doubts over the Commission’s ability to present a credible list of voters used NHIS cards to register and vote in the 2012 election.

Its Convener, David Asante claimed the EC prior to the Court’s ruling, met with the lawyers of the plaintiff in that case at which meeting the Commission revealed it was not in a position to determine the number of those who registered with NHIS cards “because of the widespread numbers involved”.

“The fact of the Electoral Commission going to sit down to pick out over four million names of NHIS registrants from the overall voter register, apart from it being a Herculean task, we know on authority the EC cannot and does not have that document in its database. They do not have it,” Mr. Boateng he told an Accra-based radio station, Joy FM

Earlier, the Coalition of Domestic Election observers (CODEO) said it may be impossible for the EC to get the list of all those persons who registered ahead of the 2012 elections using the NHIS cards as proof of identity.

According the National Coordinator of CODEO, Albert Kofi Arhin who is a former Director of Elections at the EC, it will be difficult because the Commission does not have all the documents indicating who used NHIS cards to register in its database.

By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana

Twitter @steviekgh

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