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34K disenfranchised ‘NHIS voters’ could be foreigners - Ephson

Ben Ephson White Pollster Ben Ephson

Mon, 1 Aug 2016 Source:

Pollster Ben Ephson has said the 34,000 NHIS voters who failed to get re-registered during the Electoral Commission’s recently-ended re-registration exercise, could be the foreigners Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the opposition New Patriotic Party’s vice presidential nominee, speculated about, as having registered onto the poll roll ahead of the 2012 general elections.

Only 34,000 out of nearly 57,000 voters whose names were deleted from the register on the orders of the Supreme Court because they used their National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) cards to register, could re-register during a 10-day registration exercise conducted by the EC.

“For all you know, the 34,000 people that the NPP are saying they should be given enough time to re-register are all foreigners, so the party should be commended for helping remove these foreigners from the register,” Mr. Ephson speculated.

Meanwhile, he has advised the Member of Parliament for Effutu, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, to go ahead, if he wishes, to sue the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana over his (Afenyo-Markin’s) allegations that the election management body removed over 5,000 names of voters from the electoral roll in strongholds of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in his constituency under the guise of ridding the roll of persons who wrote their names using NHIS cards.

The Supreme Court, which ordered the deletion of the names, also directed the EC to give the affected voters another chance to register with the appropriate means of identification.

But Mr. Afenyo-Markin, speaking to Class News’ parliamentary correspondent, Ekow Annan, said the deletion had targeted supporters of the NPP.

He has, therefore, petitioned the EC to extend the date for the re-registration exercise which came to an end last week, in order not to disenfranchise his party members.

“…Now, the political side of this matter is that my friends on the other side, my main opponents, are not so interested in what is happening in Effutu with respect to this re-registration. Why? Because practically, as politicians, we all know our strengths and weaknesses. These affected areas are areas that I win my most votes. For instance, in Kojo Badu North, I win over 70 per cent of the votes in that whole stretch. There is only one polling station which is out, that is New Winneba, where I lose or my party does not do well. If they get 200, we get 100, and at that place, not a single name was deleted,” he stated.

But speaking in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson, host of Ghana Yensom on Accra100.5FM Monday August 1, Mr. Ephson, who is also the Managing Editor of the Daily Dispatch, said Mr. Afenyo-Markin would be deepening the democracy of the country if he went to court with his allegations against the EC. “Honourable Afenyo-Markin can go to court. He will be strengthening our democracy with the court action. So, he can go to court on the matter,” Mr. Ephson advised.

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