Jean Mensa’s attitude towards NDC worrying – Asiedu Nketia
The seeming sour relationship between the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), and the Electoral Commission (EC) appears to be worsening by the day.
The EC has been criticised by the NDC over some decisions the party disagrees with.
NDC had kicked against limiting an upcoming limited registration exercise to the district level describing it as distasteful following the EC’s decision not to heed to the NDC’s request for decentralisation of the process.
The NDC’s General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, had said the EC Chair, Jean Mensa, appears to be harbouring some prejudice against his party.
He stated that, the Chairperson’s posturing is fast becoming a threat to the Electoral Commission and to the country’s democracy.
“Somehow, I believe that because we expressed our opinion about her suitability or otherwise for the position when her appointment was made she appears to be carrying that prejudice and she thinks that is a sufficient reason for denying us our rights. So we think that, the problem is about her attitude and not about the NDC,” he said.
“Every issue that we the NDC have raised has been legitimately based on our rights as provided by law and in most in cases, they had come to apologize. If you ask us what we are doing against the EC, it will be like victim blaming because we are the victim”, Asiedu Nketia noted.
According to the NDC, a lot of Ghanaians will be disenfranchised if the limited registration exercise is held at the district level.
“The argument we have made is that, it would be a tool to disenfranchise the ordinary citizens who have an inalienable right under the laws of the country to exercise their franchise as citizens of this country. When you look at the trials they did last year with the referendum, they did the registration in 47 districts, they estimated 100,00 eligible voters but only 47,000 were recorded. That tells you clearly that a lot more of the people who could have registered did not register,” he said.
But the EC has rejected the claims arguing that, the plan to organise the registration at the district level falls in line with measures to upgrade its Information Technology (IT) infrastructure.
Ghanaians won’t be disenfranchised with limited registration exercise at district level – EC assures
Responding to the concerns however on Eyewitness News, Deputy EC Chair, Dr. Eric Bossman Asare said there is no cause for alarm as adequate measures have been put in place to get all persons registered.
“This not so much of a problem. When we met last month at our IPAC meeting, we made it clear that the EC was working to review its IT infrastructure. So in order to maximize our resources, we agreed to do an online registration. We are not saying people should not go and register. We even made it clear that if the EC can go the extra mile for people who are living very far and it becomes necessary that the EC must create a certain enabling environment so that they can go to the headquarters of the electoral commission in that district to go and register, we are ready to do that.”
“There are agencies we can team up with, we made all these things known to them that the commission can never disenfranchise anyone. We did acknowledge that, in some district headquarters it will take about 40 miles to get to there. These are things the Commission can easily work with the parties, civil society organization to be able to ensure that, all these people are able to register”, he added.