The Electoral Commission has set September 22, 2015, to take a decision on whether or now the country will go for a new voters’ register.
At an Inter-Party Advisory Committee, IPAC, meeting, the commission tasked all the political parties to submit their concerns for or against a new voters’ register, after which a decision will be taken.
The IPAC meeting held on Friday August 21, became necessary after the opposition New Patriotic Party had described the current register as flawed with thousands of foreigners having their details in it.
Since the NPP’s claims at a news conference, the incumbent National Democratic Congress has described the claims as untrue and baseless, thereby rubbishing calls for a new register.
Some civil society organizations have also noted that there is no need for a new register whereas others have said there is the need for the NPP’s concerns to be looked into.
Speaking at a news conference after Friday’s IPAC meeting, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Charlotte Osei, asked political parties to submit their concerns on the current register.
“We have acknowledged receipt of the request from the NPP but we have also called on all the other parties to give us their position on how they think the issue should be managed. Basically, there are parties that the register is okay; but there are others who have also indicated that they want the register cleaned up or audited. And so we have given all the parties up to 22nd of September 2015, to give very detailed positions on what their position is on the register. If you want us to clean up the register or audit it, then you need to specifically tell us the process you want in doing that”.
The NPP has alleged that more than 76,000 Togolese nationals are captured on Ghana’s electoral roll, presenting what it claims are evidence to the EC.
The EC Chairperson said a decision on a new register would be based on evidence provided by political parties.
“We will be listening to the parties; we are assuming that the proposals they are bringing would be very technically supported. So the soundness of the proposals, the value for money proposition, and whether it’s generally reasonable and will promote credible elections are the things we will be looking for. But it is important that we engage all the parties and not just the parties because even now we’ve had submissions from the members of the public and civil society organizations and their voices are just as important in this matter as the voices of the political parties” she noted.
The IPAC meeting was attended by representatives of the NDC, NPP, PNC, CPP, PPP amongst other political parties.
Other issues discussed at the meeting included the continuous voter registration, update on electoral reforms, inspection of political party offices and preparation towards the district assembly elections.
The commission disclosed all is set for the district assembly elections on September 1.