Political Science lecturer at the University of Ghana Professor Ransford Gyampo has urged the Electoral Commission to shelve the idea of a new voters register for the 2020 election since it will deepen mistrust between them and opposition parties.
According to him, grounds for the creation of a new register are not solid enough even though the commission reserves the right to create a new roll for the polls.
The Electoral Commission has hinted of plans to create a new voters register for next year’s presidential and parliamentary polls.
The main opposition NDC has kicked against the mover arguing there is nothing wrong with the existing register.
In an opinion on the matter, Professor Gyampo said “At this crucial point in the electoral politics of Ghana, I believe the EMB must work hard to erode suspicion rather than putting in place administratively pious policies that deepens suspicion and further dissipate confidence among a section of the opposition. The EMB must garner the support of all and work with all to rebuild its image”.
He challenged the EC to prove that there is an immediate need for a new register.
Below are details of the views of Professor Gyampo on the issue
The EC has the right and power to determine whether we need a new register or not, even without consulting the political parties.
2. But do we need a new register? Must we go through the tiring process of queuing again? Won’t we be undermining the work done by the National Identification Authority? What is the National ID recently issued meant for?
3. If the register in its current state is good for the upcoming 2019 referendum, it cannot be bad for the 2020 elections. Our fundamental law of the land, the 1992 Constitution which provides the supreme legal framework for everything we do in the country, was brought into being by a referendum.
4. A referendum is as important as general election. We cannot therefore use an old register for a referendum and create a new register for a general election, just a year after the referendum.
5. An unrestrained push for a new register at a time when the neutrality of the EMB is being questioned by a section of the opposition, may create needless suspicion about the motive behind the move, irrespective of how pious that motive may be.
6. At this crucial point in the electoral politics of Ghana, I believe the EMB must work hard to erode suspicion rather than putting in place administratively pious policies that deepens suspicion and further dissipate confidence among a section of the opposition. The EMB must garner the support of all and work with all to rebuild its image.
7. Unless I am convinced that there is really an urgent need for a new register, I will say, let’s not waste money. Let’s just register those who have turned 18 and move on to focus on other critical areas of electoral reform. We can rethink the register after 2020.
8. He who is cutting a path won’t know if his back is crooked. This is my suggestion to the EMB. I am forwarding same to its heads now.