EC can start new voters’ register compilation in regions not under lockdown – Sam Okudzeto

Wed, 15 Apr 2020 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

The question as to whether the scheduled December general election will come off still lingers unanswered as the nation together with other parts of the world battles for a vaccine for the deadly novel Coronavirus.

This is because just as any other social gathering, the nature of the Ghanaian election would, in fact, create a more fertile ground for the spread of the virus if by then, governments have still not found a possible treatment for the virus.

In this regard, as a way of providing a plausible solution to this dilemma, a former president of the Ghana Bar Association, Sam Okudzeto has asked government to improvise in order to make the best decision in this period of a global pandemic.

By improvising Mr Okudzeto means, the commencement of the voters’ registration exercise in regions that have so far not been affected by the lockdown since our recorded cases are not as dramatic as that in Europe and America.

While speaking in an interview on Citi FM’ Eyewitness News, Sam Okudzeto said, “Just thinking out loud to say that perhaps, the coronavirus ours is not as dramatic as is happening in many of the Western countries…which means that we only have few pockets of the two big municipalities and few regions…So it’s a question of the Ministry of Health, the Electoral Commission, attorney general all them trying to put their heads together. In my view, since the lockdown is not the whole country, they should start the registration in the areas where there is no lockdown and that would have covered large chunk of the country.”

According to him, regardless of how dangerous this may be, it would be in the best interest of the country rather than an individual.

He said the authorities in charge of the registration must adopt strategic social distancing protocols in ensuring that the persons are duly registered.

“…this is something for the benefit of Ghana, now we talk about distancing. When we say distances which means that registration can be done in distances where one person registers and another person comes, that can be done.”

Touching on this possibility of the Chief Justice taking over the reins of government he argued that, “well the constitution of Ghana has not envisaged that possibility of election not taking place. If you look at the constitution carefully, you’ll see that there is a hierarchy of authority, from the president if he is not around the vice president acts, in his absence the speaker acts.”

“In the absence of the speaker the Chief justice acts. For example, if there is no election, that means the speaker will also not be there because his term also would have lapsed…meaning it’s only the chief justice which there, the only permanent institution which is there, election is not conducted by the speaker it’s conducted by the Electoral Commission,” he added.

Though the idea of a new register has faced intense attacks, the EC hopes to introduce a facial recognition option in addition to fingerprint verification.

The Electoral Commission also seeks to replace its biometric machines to address issues with verification that could mar the outcome of the elections.

In addition, it also seeks to make the Ghana Card and passport the only acceptable identification for the upcoming voter registration.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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