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The Debate Rages On Over Voters Register   
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Three political stalwarts are locked up in arguments over the voters register.

They are the 2016 flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the General Secretary of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia and the 2012 Presidential candidate of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom.

Sharing their perspectives at separate events and interviews, while Nana Akufo-Addo and Mr Asiedu Nketia argue over whether there is the need or not to change the existing register, Dr Nduom however insists that a continuous voter registration relying on the National Identification Authority (NIA) is the answer to the challenge confronting the nation.

He argues that the country must focus on gravitating towards continuous voter registration by supporting and strengthening the NIA to build a database which would be used to provide a unique identification number for all Ghanaians for universal transactions, including voter registration.

According to Dr Nduom, Ghanaians must shun easy solutions and weak policies that give undue political advantage to politicians and rather adopt long-term measures that require thinking outside the box.

“We are thinking so much of elections instead of things that will help develop the nation, he said, adding that we must think of matters that will help to develop the nation first,” he stated.

Nana Akufo-Addo

On his ‘Rise and Build’ tour of Cape Coast in the Central Region last Friday to garner support ahead of the next general election; Nana Akufo-Addo said the idea that the current voters register was bloated gave the possibility of its manipulation during the next general elections.

Speaking to a Cape Coast-based private radio station, he stated that as a democratic state, Ghana must ensure that the bloated register was corrected to ensure that the results of the next elections were readily accepted by both losers and winners.

“Everywhere, when people are going for elections, they compile fresh voters registers to ensure that the information they contain are accurate,” he stated.

Nana Akufo-Addo stated that democratic states in Africa often resorted to the development of fresh voters register to ensure that the information provided by the voters were authentic.
He particularly cited Nigeria, Kenya Tanzania and Togo as some of the countries that came up with fresh voters registers to ensure clean outcomes of general elections that were acceptable to all parties.

“What democratic people do is that they go through periodic process of choosing their leaders through the ballot box in a manner that does not bring any disenchantment and division.

Fake and absurd

He expressed worry that the NDC had continually given the impression that the current voters register favoured the ruling party.
“It is for this reason that I am so hysterical about the resistance to the idea that there should be a new register. We are rubbished for all the evidence we produce about the Togolese voters register and our arguments are seen as fake and absurd,” he said.

According to him, the more the NDC continued to protest the demand for a new voters register, the “more it appears to us that there is indeed the need for us to have a new register,” he said.

NDC Strong reaction

But the General Secretary of the NDC has described the NPP’s call as ‘illogical” and “absurd”.’

“The opposition party’s call for a new voters register is not backed by any compelling reason. The demand for a new register is the latest attempt by the NPP to blame everybody and everything in Ghana apart from themselves as the cause of their defeats at the polls,” he stated.

He was worried that the NPP had kept shifting their argument positions without any justification for their demand.

He, therefore, dismissed the evidence adduced by the NPP for its belief that the voters register was bloated.
“They actually do not know what is wrong with the register,” Mr Asiedu-Nketia asserted.

Meanwhile, the NDC, in a 71-page document officially called on the EC to reject the call for a new register and urged interest groups to rather support reforms.

The document, signed by its General Secretary, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, said the NPP’s proposal was misplaced.
Source: Daily Graphic

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