The protest against the decision by the Electoral Commission (EC) to compile a new Voter Register took an interesting turn on Monday when two powerful civil society groups sought to rope in the Asantehene, Otumfuor Osei Tutu II, to use his revered office to resolve the impasse.
Policy think tank IMANI Africa and the Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) petitioned the Asantehene and the Asanteman Traditional Council to intervene in the EC decision to compile a new voter register.
The groups say the EC's decision to compile a new voter register is creating tension in the country, hence the need for the Asantehene to intervene.
"...we want Otumfuo and the council to step in early by calling the EC and the agitated political parties to reach a compromise decision to avert any future disturbances...do not want any Ghanaian to be disenfranchised even if the exercise takes off as planned," they said.
The EC has indicated its resolve to compile a new voter register for the 2020 general elections despite the strong resistance to its plans by some political parties and civil society organisations.
These bodies argue that the current register is good enough to be used for the 2020 polls and have made known their intention to kick against the EC decision
The opposition party, for instance, posits that the time allocated for the EC to compile a new register for the 2020 elections has elapsed, and accused the electoral body of seeking to rig the elections for the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP); an allegation the EC has denied.
The NDC has also made a case that the intended registration exercise could put the country in jeopardy considering how public gathering could increase the spread of Coronavirus.
Registration Exercise By June Ending?
But the election management body appears adamant and insists plans are far advanced for the successful take-off of the registration process, stressing it is critical for a free, fair and transparent election.
According to the EC, the current voters’ register and its management system and biometric verification devices cannot deliver a credible election.
Biometric Machines Fit For Elections
HelloFM's Senior Reporter, Sampson K. Nyamekye, who was at the function, said the petition was presented to the Asantehene and the council by the President of IMANI Africa, Mr Franklin Cudjoe and the Executive Director of ASEPA, Mensah Thompson.
"We are not against registration for people to vote but the cost claim the EC makes does not justify procurement of a new register....the existing biometric registration machines are fit for running the 2020 general elections," Mr Franklin Cudjoe of IMANI told the media.
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