NPP calls on EC to compile new voters register

The NPP says the electoral register in its current state was incurably flawed and could not be relied on for the 2016 elections

Kwabena Agyepong, NPP General Secretary

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has reiterated its request for a new voters register for the 2016 elections.

According to the party, the electoral register in its current state was incurably flawed and could not be relied on for the all-important 2016 election.

This was contained in a request letter sent to the new EC Chairperson, Mrs Charlotte Osei, a copy of which the Daily Graphic has. The letter is under the heading “Request for a New Voters Register.”

The statement added "a fresh registration will go a long way to rebuild public confidence in the electoral process and this is essential for the successful conduct of a peaceful, free and fair election in 2016’’.

Below is the full statement by the NPP

On behalf of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), let me begin by first congratulating you on your appointment as the new Chairperson of the Electoral Commission.

It is our fervent hope that your tenure will usher in a new era of collaboration and improved working relationship that will rebuild public confidence in elections administration in our motherland.

This letter is intended to bring to your attention a major issue which we believe must be resolved, and timeously so, for the 2016 General Elections.

It is an issue that has been lingering since the conclusion of the landmark election petition at the Supreme Court of Ghana. We are very hopeful that it will receive your favourable attention.

The Party has previously made representations to the Commission to consider conducting a fresh registration of voters as we are of the view that the electoral register in its current state is incurably flawed and cannot be relied on for the all-important 2016 election.

We refer to the 30 page document;“PROPOSALS FOR ELECTORAL REFORM” that the Party submitted to the Commission which outlines the justification for our request.

Our reasons included the following:

1. The Supreme Court declaration in the case of Abu Ramadan and Another vs Electoral Commission and Attorney General (Writ No. J1/11/2014) that disallowed the use of NHIA cards as proof of qualification to register making it unconstitutional, void and of no effect. By this declaration, the Supreme Court effectively outlawed all NHIA card based registrations.

Since it will be extremely difficult to purge the existing register of all the registrations affected by the SC decision, it is our humble view that offering every potential voter a fresh opportunity to register will address this defect.

2. The EC has refused to undertake proper auditing and comprehensive de-duplication of the 2012 biometric register with the required transparency which we and other stakeholders demanded.

3. The NPP remains concerned with the disparity in the total number of registered voters provided by the EC at different times during the 2012 election cycle. The total registered voters for the parliamentary election in the 2012 elections stood at 13,628,817 whereas that of the presidential election gazetted by the EC, was 14,158,890.

4. A critical analysis of the 2010 population census and the 2012 biometric registration reveal several districts where the number of registered voters are in excess of the total population census figure for that district. This is statistically impossible and clearly indicates a bloated register.

5. In the words of your predecessor Dr. Afari Gyan concerning Ghana’s 2008 register; “If our population is indeed 22 million then perhaps 13 million people on our register would be statistically unacceptable by world standards. If that is the case, then it may mean that there is something wrong with our register”.

That same argument can be used for the 2012 register which has a registered voter population that is 56.2% of the total population of Ghana.This is considered exceedingly high and unrealistic especially when compared to other African countries where registered voter population are averagely45% of the total population.

6. Moreover, civil society groups, major opposition political parties, the Christian Council of Ghana, the Catholic Bishops Conference and other religious bodies have all raised doubts about the credibility of the register used for the 2012 polls and have all called for a cleaner and more credible register.

So far it may appear that the EC is ill at ease to address these concerns. We wish to respectfully remind you that time is of the essence and therefore we will urge you Madam, as the head of the EC, to take this opportunity to give the country a fresh start and to handle this all important matter with the urgency required.

A fresh registration will go a long way to rebuild public confidence in the electoral process and this is essential for the successful conduct of a peaceful, free and fair election in 2016.

We wish to assure you that you can count on our full co-operation and support and we are particularly keen that under your leadership, the EC will be able to discharge this huge responsibility. The party is looking forward to a meeting to discuss our concerns and the way forward for Ghana

Once again, we welcome you to your high office and extend to you our sincere felicitations.

We remain at the service of our dear country, Ghana.


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