The Electoral Commission is to compile a new voters register for the next presidential and parliamentary elections in Ghana.
The decision was made at an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting held today (Wednesday, March 27, 2019).
The Electoral Commission (EC) in a statement after the meeting said, “the Commission will compile a new voters register ahead of the 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections.”
Key amongst some of the plans ahead of the general election is a new Constitutional Instrument (CI) to assess and guide the financial positions of the various political parties.
The Commission is preparing a draft Constitutional Instrument to regulate and streamline the format of Financial Returns and Audited Accounts of the Political Parties” the statement added.
Before the 2016 General elections, there was pressure on former EC Chair, Charlotte Osei to clean the electoral roll to correct what proponents said were anomalies in the existing one.
The call for the new voters register was met with series of protests some of which turned violent. Political pressure group, Let My Vote Count Alliance allege that the then register was “bloated” and cannot be used for the 2016 election thus their insistence on a new one.
But, after extensive deliberations today, the following key decisions were made and adopted by IPAC and the EC:
1. The District Level Elections and the Referendum will be conducted on the same day during the last quarter of 2019.
2. The Commission will undertake a Limited Registration of new voters’ prior to the District Level Elections and Referendum in May 2019. The registration will take place in all the District Offices of the Electoral Commission across the country.
3. The Commission will compile a new voters’ register ahead of the 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections.
Calls for new register
At the time, the then opposition National Patriotic Party (NPP) said it had strong evidence to show that the then existing voters’ register was flawed.
The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers CODEO also added its voice for a clean voter’s register for the 2016 elections.
The then governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), argued that it would be expensive to heed to calls by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for a new voters’ register.
The party indicated that the country at that point in time did not need a new voters’ register citing economic issues as a major factor.