EC must reopen registration to redeem image – Gyampo

Dr Ransford Gyampoh Dr Ransford Gyampo

Wed, 11 May 2016 Source: classfmonline.com

Senior Lecturer at the Department of Political Science at the University of Ghana, Dr Ransford Gyampo, has admonished the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana to reopen the limited voter registration exercise, especially on the campuses of universities, to clear the perception that it has purposed to disenfranchise some Ghanaians.

Dr Gyampo was of the view that it would be mutually beneficial to the eligible voters who were not captured by the EC during its limited registration exercise as well as the commission, which has taken a lot of flak for failing to register a chunk of eligible voter, especially students on campuses.

Dr Gyampo said he did not “think the EC wants to create the perception in the minds of people that they are up to something and deliberately wants to disenfranchise them.”

The number of students at the university of Ghana, alone, who registered for the exercise, which came to a close on Sunday 8 May, was less than 20 per cent, the President of the Student Representative Council (SRC) of the university, David Ohene Fobih, had earlier indicated.

“By the close of registration on Sunday, we had 1,552 students, which is less than 20 per cent of the number that we expected to register,” he stated in an interview on Tuesday May 10.

There was only one registration centre at Ghana’s premier university when the exercise started, until calls by students and the opposition NPP’s vice presidential candidate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, forced the EC to double the number, which was still not enough to capture all the students who had wanted to have their names on the electoral roll.

According to Dr Gyampo, by the EC’s own strategic plan, it indicated that it would engage stakeholders and the citizenry, adding that the section of students who could not register are part of the citizenry and “if it [the exercise] is closed, I think we have to reopen and create the opportunity for them”.

“If you come to the University of Ghana where I teach, people were getting up at dawn and very early in the morning to go and queue. Yet, after queuing for the whole day, most of them could not get their names captured and registered,” the Research Fellow at the Governance Unit of the Institute of Economic Affairs stated.

“We are talking about close to 7,000 people who have shown the will, zeal, and the determination to be part of the process, but they go, and at the end of the day, only about 80 to 100 get registered,” he lamented.

“There have been so many people who have not been registered. So, if there are genuine people [to be registered], yet they were not able to be registered because of the limited polling centres that were created and the period was so short, I think it is wise to give them the opportunity.”

The academic suggested the next two weeks be used for another registration exercise with numerous centres created on campuses to ease pressure and speed up the process so that a large number of people will not end up disenfranchised.

The Chairman of the National Peace Council, Rev. Professor Emmanuel Asante, has also advised the EC to extend the exercise on the campuses of the various tertiary institutions where many students could not register.

Source: classfmonline.com