The Member of Parliament for Tamale North, Honorable Alhassan Suhuyini has chastised the Electoral Commission on its decision to conduct the limited voter registration exercise at its district offices and bemoans that the decision will lead to voter suppression.
According to the MP, the decision to restrict the limited voter registration exercise to the Commission district offices only would disenfranchise eligible voters especially those in the remote areas across the country.
He wonders why the Electoral Commission would not consider the long distances people in far locations have to commute to the various district offices and decentralize the voter-limited registration exercise.
“There is a difference between availability and accessibility, so the fact that you said you have opened your district offices across the country, so people should go there and register does not give access to all eligible voters to get registered. In previous instances, the exercise used not to be done in the rainy season but now it is raining and this will discourage many people especially those in the north from participating in the exercise”.Hon. Alhassan Suhuyini
Mr. Suhuyini also indicated that the decision to conduct the limited registration exercise at the Electoral Commission district offices only was not agreed upon at the Inter-Party Advisory Committee by the various political parties but the Electoral Commission’s sole decision. He believes the decision was a grand scheme to manipulate the voter registration exercise to the advantage of the ruling New Patriotic Party.
The Tamale North legislator also lamented on the sheer ignorance and arrogance posturing of the Electoral Commission towards public sentiments and cautioned the Commission to listen to the views of well-meaning Ghanaians including Civil Society Organizations to decentralize its impending limited voter registration exercise
Lawyer Jantuah calls on EC to Act in the Interest of Ghana
Meanwhile, Lawyer Kwame Jantuah, a leading member of the Convention People’s Party is surprised the Electoral Commission does not want to work in the interest of Ghanaians and Ghana’s democracy. He therefore advised the Electoral Commission to explain why the Commission intends to embark on the limited voter registration exercise in its district offices only.
“Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution, and Regulation 2(1) (2) of C. I 91 mandate the Electoral Commission to ensure every citizen of Ghana of eighteen years of age or above and of sound mind has the right to vote and is therefore entitled to be registered as a voter for public elections and referenda, the EC must discharge this duty without prejudices”Lawyer Jantuah
Lawyer Jantuah therefore commended the five political parties for going to the Supreme Court to get the Commission to do the right thing.
The main opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) together with the Convention People’s Party (CPP), All People’s Congress (APC), Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG) and Great Consolidated People’s Party (GCPP) have filed a suit against the Electoral Commission of Ghana in the Supreme Court.
According to the political parties, the decision was made as a result of the Electoral Commission’s illegitimate and arbitrary decision to limit its impending voter registration operation to its only district offices.
The parties believe that the EC’s plan to limit the locations of voter registration centres to its district offices may prevent many eligible voters from being registered as voters and from casting ballots in public elections.