NPP Raises Red Flag Over Votersí Register

Suspicions by the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) over lack of credibility of the current Voters’ Register and alleged manipulation appear to be gathering momentum following allegation that the Electoral Commission (EC) has expunged some names from the register in some popular constituencies in the region.

The Chronicle is reliably informed that the Electoral Commission in Ashanti Region has unilaterally expunged some names from the register without the notice of major stakeholders, as part of plans to clean the register and rid it of unwanted names. A big book, labeled ‘Excluded Names’, said to contain details of voters whom the Commission believes are superfluous and ought to be deleted, has been sighted by The Chronicle.

The voluminous document contains details of expunged names from some popular constituencies like Suame, Ejura and Old Tafo Constituencies, where the opposition NPP currently have comfortable lead. The development has become a source of worry to some leading members of the opposition who are alleging the move as part of orchestration by the ruling party, in connivance with the EC, to manipulate the process towards NDC’s quest to achieve one million votes in the region.

A close source within the Commission, who confirmed the information to the paper, also expressed worry about the development, since in his estimation the proper processes were not being adopted. According to reliable source, some District Electoral Officers are not happy at all with the decision to expunge the names without justifiable reasons, but have not been able to voice out their concerns for fear of being victimized.

But a leading member of the NPP in the Ashanti Region, Mr. George Ayisi Boateng, who first hinted the paper, leading to further investigations, says the situation calls for serious concerns. According to him, the report of the expulsion corroborates calls by the party for fresh register for the 2016 general elections.

Mr. Ayisi Boateng pointed out in an interview with The Chronicle that the unfortunate development could adversely affect the credibility of the upcoming elections, stressing that the only way to resolve the discrepancies was for the EC to heed the numerous calls for fresh registration.

He said unfolding events appear to lend credibility to reports that the EC was allegedly conniving with the ruling party to enhance the chances of the NDC in achieving its one million votes target in the Ashanti Region.

“We are very happy some of these information are coming out at this moment in time because it is very critical to the electoral process. We cannot accept anything other than a credible voter register and this can only be achieved when fresh registration exercise is undertaken by the Commission,” he noted.

The NPP guru, however, wondered why the EC was being so adamant, despite clear evidence that the current register is not credible.

“Evidence abounds of lack of credibility of the current register; during the Supreme Court Petition, we were all witnesses to several discrepancies in the voters’ register, leading to the judges’ recommendation that something should be done about it, in order to ensure the credibility of the electoral process. Why the EC has refused to implement such recommendation beats my imagination,” Mr. Ayisi Boateng observed.

Meanwhile, the Ashanti Regional Director of the Electoral Commission has denied any knowledge of the existence of any such documents or exercise undertaken to remove certain names from the register. Speaking to the paper in an interview, Mr. Boateng indicated that apart from the outcome of the Voters’ Exhibition Exercise which saw certain names being expunged from the list, no further exercise had been done as being claimed by the NPP leading member.

“What I know about is the deletion we made during the exhibition exercise, but this report of names being deleted, I don’t know anything about it,” he noted. However, a source close to the paper indicated that the EC Regional Boss maybe genuinely unaware of the said list, since the information was given to the district directors directly from the National Headquarters in Accra.