The largest opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has estimated that a minimum of one million potential voters will be disenfranchised should the Electoral Commission adamantly continue to hold the limited registration exercise for the Assembly election at its district offices instead of at the electoral levels.
The EC recently announced plans to undertake a limited voter registration exercise for qualified voters who have attained 18 years ahead of the local level election this year but the NDC has kicked against conducting the exercise at the 250 district offices of the Commission contrary to the decentralized system used in previous registration exercises under former chairpersons which saw deployment of registration machines to 6,000 centres.
Speaking on Friday during a symposium held on the theme: “Current State of Ghana” by the Koforidua Technical University chapter of the Tertiary Education Institutions Network (TEIN), the General Secretary of the NDC Johnson Asiedu Nketia stated that, “You [EC] are going to conduct an election and you are enjoined by the constitution to make sure that every Ghanaian of 18 years and above is registered and would have the opportunity to cast their ballot. Then you intentionally developed a system which will disenfranchise a minimum of 1 million voters and we are all quiet in this country. Where are we heading towards?”
According to him, the Jean Mensah led Commission has sidestepped laid down procedure used by her predecessors who had always consulted the Statistical Service of Ghana to get accurate estimated number of Ghanaians who have attained 18 years to guide in a voter registration of such nature. He said the EC instead generated its own estimation of around 300,000 potential voters who have attained 18 years and above within three years.
“Before we undertake any registration exercise of voters in Ghana the first thing you do is since you are going to register human beings of a certain age, Electoral Commission is not mandated as an institution to make pronouncement of how many Ghanaians are of this age. The institution that does that is the Statistical Service of Ghana. So you write to statistical service how many Ghanaians are of 18 years and above as of today and they give you the figures,” he said.
He said during the leadership of Charlotte Osei, the immediate past chairperson of EC, a total of 1,070,000 were captured in the limited registration exercise therefore, it will be warp logic for the current EC Chair to assume and estimate that only 300,000 Ghanaians have attained 18 years and above for the limited registration exercise.
“Even if you go by the most conservative estimate and you assume that nobody grew, all our ages were stagnant at some point in time or nobody gave birth in this country, at least between 2016 and 2019, a period of 3 years can’t you get 1 million people who have entered the 18 year group? Jean Mensah want us to accept that the number of Ghanaians who have entered 18 years group and above is 300,000. In three years, so this type of mathematics can only happen under Nana Akufo-Addo’s government.”
The program was also attended by the Deputy National Organizer of the NDC, Chief Hamilton Biney Nixon, Deputy National Women Organizer, Maame Efua Sekyi-Addo, Eastern Regional Secretary, Mark Oliver Kevor, MP for Afram Plain South, Eric Osei Owusu among others.