Politics of Sat, 31 Oct 201577
Charlotte Osei's presentation ‘frustrates’ NPP
The Electoral Commission's position on a debate for or against a new voters’ register has left the ruling party, NDC, satisfied and the opposition NPP unhappy.
The New Patriotic Party which has been questioning the credibility of the voters' register is unhappy that the EC would not commit to a declaration on whether or not a new register will be collated.
The ruling NDC believes the EC has done a yeoman’s job in clearing doubts about the credibility of Ghana’s electoral system.
On the final day of a debate on the pros and cons of getting a new voter’s register, Electoral Commissioner, Charlotte Osei made a presentation and mounted a defence of the Electoral Commission’s systems.
She expressed fears that given the entrenched positions adopted by the two main political parties - NPP and NDC – collating a new voters register across the electoral areas could spark violence.
If a new voters’ register is to be compiled, providing proof of citizenship will be problematic. This is because most Ghanaians won’t have a National Identification Card, a driver’s license or a passport.
A birth certificate as proof of citizenship will also have challenges because most Ghanaians do not have the document.
Proceeding to defend the commission, Charlotte Osei insists the electoral system is robust and foolproof to a large extent.
Madam Osei also insisted that the commission’s computerised system has checks to prevent possible compromise but cautioned there is no perfect system globally.
The presentation has left NPP MP OB Amoah disappointed. “We think that the EC has made up its mind that it cannot do a new register”, he told Joy News’ Top Story Friday.
He is worried that the EC could not clearly answer the question “are we keeping this same register?”.
First National Vice-Chairman of the NDC Samuel Ofosu Ampofo says the EC has been under intense pressure from the NPP over the past weeks.
He shared his satisfaction after hearing the EC. "I feel relieved because I was always worried that the EC must come out and clear their name."
He says the presentation by the Electoral Commissioner has "lowered the pressure" in the country. He commended the commission profusely for the presentation.
Samuel Ofosu Ampofo says Charlotte Osei's presentation dismisses the need for any pressure group to demonstrate.
It was an indirect response to agitations by pro-NPP pressure group Let My Vote Count Alliance (LMVCA) who hit the streets and got assaulted by the police. Before the forum, the group had promised more demonstrations.
But with the forum over, the NDC top official Samuel Ofosu Ampofo believes anymore agitations would be needless.
The NPP Youth Organiser Sammy Awuku says he is not suprised by the comments by the EC because her posture from day one gave her away as being against the call for a new voters' register.