President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has congratulated the Chair of the Electoral Commission, Ghana (EC), Jean Mensa, and the other commissioners over the recently ended compilation of the new voter register.
But for isolated cases of violence, the President noted and which he unreservedly condemned, the exercise was generally peaceful.
President Akufo-Addo made these known on Sunday, August 16, when he addressed the nation in a televised broadcast on the measures his government has taken so far in the fight against coronavirus.
“On behalf of the people of Ghana, I congratulate warmly the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mrs Jean Mensa, her two deputies Dr Eric Asare Bossman and Mr Samuel Tettey and the entire Commission for their efficient, safe [and] transparent nature of the registration exercise,” he said
The registration exercise began on Tuesday, June 30 and ended on Thursday, August 6.
It was carried out under new constitutional instrument (CI) 196 and expected to be used for the December 7, 2020 elections, the eighth under the Fourth Republic.
President Akufo-Addo commended the novel daily updates provided by the Commission throughout the 38-day period.
“All eligible voters were given the unfettered opportunity to register, a process that was fully embraced by the mass of the citizenry.”
‘Prophecies of doom’
But the exercise had been preceded with disagreement, particularly from the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), which considered the whole exercise a waste of state resources.
NDC’s Director of Elections, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, had also indicated that the coronavirus cases were going to blow out of proportions if the EC went ahead with the register.
The party dragged the Commission to the Supreme Court over the exclusion of the previous voter identity cards for registration.
President Akufo-Addo indicated that those who expressed various degrees of “hysteria” and “negativity” ended up registering.
“There were also those who offered delicate personal sacrifices in the event of the register. Again ending up registering.
“There were those who claimed that in the midst of a pandemic, the registration exercise should not be conducted with some warning of over-explosion in our case count and very high numbers of deaths should the exercise go ahead.
“By the grace of God, the work of the Electoral Commission and the effective measures put in place by the government, these prophecies of doom did not materialise.”
So far, the Commission has estimated that 16,963,306 persons registered during the exercise.
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