National Communications Officer for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi, has described the ongoing limited registration exercise being carried out by the Electoral Commission (EC) as a calculated agenda to rig the 2020 general elections in favour of the incumbent; the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).According to him, the observation of the NDC so far relative to the ongoing limited registration exercise is sad as the conduct of the exercise has been very shambolic.
“The whole processes is being conducted in a manner, calculated to suppress voter population in NDC’s strongholds and rather enhance voter population of NPP strongholds; in furtherance of the rigging agenda of the Jean Mensa-Bossman Asare led EC”, he observed.
Commenting on Radio Gold’s Alhaji and Alhaji talk show which is now aired on Pan African TV, Sammy Gyamfi averred that his party [NDC] still maintains that the Jean Mensa led Electoral Commission is a looming disaster waiting to explode.
“...and if not checked, they will plunge this country and our fledgling democracy into chaos because what is happening relative to the ongoing limited registration exercise is completely unacceptable and no electoral body must be allowed to do the kind of things we are seeing”, he fumed.
To him, the NDC had a justifiable cause to raise several red flags in Parliament and at IPAC meeting before the commencement of the limited registration exercise.
“We raised these concerns in good faith but we were treated with contempt, we were insulted and we were even described by the deputy chairperson of EC Bossman Asare as an existential threat to Ghana’s democracy.”
“Our crime was that we said that before the EC commences an exercise as this, it needs to know the total number, at least you need to have an estimate based on credible statistics as to the total number of potential voters or registrants to guide you in the procurement and deployment of electoral materials; to guide you in the distribution of the electoral materials because if you don’t know the specific numbers involved, the specific number of potential registrants, you may either under procure materials or over procure and also in the distribution of the materials and the registration centres, you will get it wrong and that may cause chaos,” he added.
He reiterated that the whole exercise has become chaotic after the Electoral Commission (EC) refused to see reason with the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) on the system to use to conduct the limited registration exercise.
“They didn’t listen; they started all by telling us that they were projecting to register 300,000 people. When we complained, they say they have now revised the figure to 500,000 and then two days to the commencement of the process, they gave a new number, 700,000 people”.
“Meanwhile, Mr. Afari Gyan in the run up to the 2012 elections registered almost 1 million people during the limited registration that ensued before that election. Madam Charlotte Osei in 2015 registered under the limited registration process at the time, over 1.2 million people; they [Jean Mensa and Bossman] were projecting 300,000 people which later metamorphose to 700,000 people”.
Sammy Gyamfi further stated that their checks from the office of Ghana Statistical Service as custodian of statistics about population, revealed that over 1.7 million Ghanaians had attained the age of 18 and therefore were potential registrants in the exercise.
To him, the NDC stands vindicated since the online registration system has become a debacle just as the main opposition NDC predicted prior to the registration exercise.
“Even as we speak now, as political parties, we don’t know the BVR machines which have been deployed for purposes of this exercise. What is the result now? Today, NDC stands vindicated. I am sure now Jean Mensa knows she doesn’t know it all. All the wisdom in this world is not in her head. Look at the problem we are having; a complete failure of the online registration system just like we predicted”, he asserted.