The Electoral Commission has indicated that it had already been preparing to delete the names of ineligible persons from the voters’ register even before a Supreme Court ruling ordering it to do so.
“The good thing is that what the court is asking the Electoral Commission to do is something we have put in place a programme to do,” a Deputy Chair of the EC, Georgina Opoku Amankwa said.
She told Joy News, the EC will start cleaning the register in June when the roll for the polls is opened up for exhibition.
All eyes are on the Electoral Commission following the Supreme Court verdict Thursday, directing the removal of deceased voters and those who used the NHIS card to register.
But the operational details could be daunting, the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) has noted.
Identifying those who used the NHIS card to register could mean the Electoral Commission goes through at least 15 million forms one after the other, NDC National Organiser Kofi Adams explained.
Every registered Ghanaian’s form would have to be pulled out.
If the ID card used to determine citizenship as a basis of registration is the NHIS card, the voter’s name is to be removed. A court ruled last year, that the NHIS card cannot be used to prove a person is a Ghanaian citizen.
Explaining the challenges ahead, Kofi Adams observed that even a process used weeks ago to rid the public teachers payroll of ghost names was a very hectic task.
In view of this difficulty, “how are you going to go through 15million forms?. How workable the order is, I believe that when we reach IPAC, we will discuss,” he said.
Kofi Adams also explained that the EC’s decision to use the Exhibition of the voters’ register also poses serious challenges. The Exhibition exercise is done to help voters to verify if their registration has reflected.
The Electoral Commission is conducting a Limited Voters’ Registration exercise to allow new eligible voters to register.
After the Limited Voter Registration is over, an exhibition will have to be done, a period which the EC says it will use to implement the Supreme Court order.
But after removing the names, the EC will have to conduct another Limited Voters’ Registration exercise to allow those NHIS-card holders whose names have been removed another opportunity to use the right ID card to register as the verdict has indicated.
This will later be followed by another Exhibition exercise for the re-registered voters to check if their names have been captured.
Kofi Adams who painted this daunting scenario said the ball is in the EC’s court.
“We all are waiting how the EC will implement the ruling,” he said and backed an NPP call for a meeting of all political parties with the EC, known as IPAC.
On the part of the NPP, the ruling should not be difficult to implement, its campaign manager Peter Mac Manu told Joy News' Evans Mensah on Top Story.
He said Nigeria used six months to register more than 80million eligible voters, suggesting Ghana’s 15 million only needs commitment.
He said Ghana has reached this point all because of the intransigence of the Electoral Commission. Mac Manu said, although the NPP wanted a new register, it learned to back down “in the best interest of democracy”
“We are not hard on that request. We are flexible so we believe that the EC should also be flexible”. He hailed the ruling, saying the Electoral Commission must now meet the NPP’s demand “half way”.
Compromise and change is what democracy is about and the Supreme Court has impressed on the Electoral Commission to recognize this reality, Mac Manu explained.
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