The Jean Mensah led Electoral Commission (EC) has suspended the compilation of the controversial new voters’ register over the coronavirus outbreak.
The exercise which scheduled to commence on April 18, through to the end of May has been put on hold till further notice.
However, after a meeting with political parties Wednesday, the Director of Electoral Services at the Commission Serebour Quiacoe explained, “…because of the pandemic, we can’t do it on April 18.”
Addressing journalists after the meeting with the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) he said the EC is looking to conduct the registration from the end of April but only subject to advise from health authorities.
“We are with the Ministry of Health, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and other experts; they are also monitoring the situation advising us.
When it gets to a time when they think the situation is fertile to go ahead with the registration then they tell us…” he disclosed.
Regarding the possibility of using the existing register, he said that will not happen.
Dr. Quiacoe said in all the discussions they have had, there is no way they are using the existing register for December’s general elections.
“We are going ahead with the new one,” he mentioned .
He reiterated that the EC has already employed District Supervisors and other personnel who will help in the compilation exercise.
The biggest opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), however, has been leading a front of opposition parties who are against the compilation.
The coalition says there is no need for a new register and all the EC needs to do is to update the current one.
The EC, however, insists the Biometric Verification Devices (BVDs) and the entire Voter Management Solution must be changed as they are at the end of life.
Article 45 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana gives the power of compiling voters’ register to the EC solely.
“The Electoral Commission shall have the following functions – (a) to compile the register of voters and revise it at such periods as may be determined by law.”
The NDC has, however, sued the EC over the new register, arguing that that Article 45 of the Constitution only gives the EC the power to compile the register once and revise it thereof.
Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH
Writer’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org