A political science lecturer at the University of Ghana, Professor Ransford Gyampo has waded into the controversial debate on whether the electoral commission can ignore the various political parties as stakeholders in the electoral processes of Ghana and continue to conduct voters ID cards for the 2020 general elections.
The chairperson of the election commission, Jean Mensa has indicated that the commission will register Ghanaians for new voters ID cards that will be used for the Presidential and Parliamentary election in the year 2020. According to her the discussion was discussed and accepted at the inter party advisory committee (IPAC) meeting.
However the National Democratic Congress (NDC), People’s National Convention (PNC), and the Convention People’s Party (CPP) have come out to say that such item was not tabled for discussion.
Meanwhile the political science lecturer, Prof. Ransford Gyampo said the EC has the right and power to determine whether we need a new register or not, even without consulting the political parties.
READ THE THOUGHT OF PROF. GYAMPO
- The EC has the right and power to determine whether we need a new register or not, even without consulting the political parties.
- But do we need a new register? Must we go through the tiring process of queuing again? Won’t we be undermining the work done by the National Identification Authority? What is the National ID recently issued meant for?
- If the register in its current state is good for the upcoming 2019 referendum, it cannot be bad for the 2020 elections. Our fundamental law of the land, the 1992 Constitution which provides the supreme legal framework for everything we do in the country, was brought into being by a referendum.
- A referendum is as important as general election. We cannot therefore use an old register for a referendum and create a new register for a general election, just a year after the referendum.
- An unrestrained push for a new register at a time when the neutrality of the EMB is being questioned by a section of the opposition may create needless suspicion about the motive behind the move, irrespective of how pious that motive may be.
- At this crucial point in the electoral politics of Ghana, I believe the EMB must work hard to erode suspicion rather than putting in place administratively pious policies that deepens suspicion and further dissipate confidence among a section of the opposition. The EMB must garner the support of all and work with all to rebuild its image.
- Unless I am convinced that there is really an urgent need for a new register, I will say, let’s not waste money. Let’s just register those who have turned 18 and move on to focus on other critical areas of electoral reform. We can rethink the register after 2020.
- He who is cutting a path won’t know if his back is crooked. This is my suggestion to the EMB. I am forwarding same to its heads now.