The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensah, in a press conference yesterday at the Commission’s headquarters, has hinted on the Commission’s plan to carry out a sustained 6-month registration exercise ahead of the 2024 General elections.
Jean Mensa sought to reassure the public of the Commission’s commitment to ensure all eligible voters who wish to be a part of the process do so at ease.
“The registration we were envisaging under the draft constitutional instrument was for a sustained long-term basis.”Jean Mensa
She however blamed the inability to do so this year on the delay of the passing of the CI.
“Indeed, had the CI passed, we would have had some 6 months this year to register voters at any time of their choice in our District offices throughout the country.”Jean Mensa
She then assured the public that there will be more registration processes before the 2024 general election to capture all those who may miss out on the ongoing registration.
“This is not the only registration exercise prior to the elections in 2024. In line with our plan to promote an inclusive, participatory registration process, we plan to institute registration in all our offices nationwide for a considerable length of time in 2024,” she said.
Notwithstanding, the Commission’s working plan for this year and its budget allocation for this year as approved by Parliament permitted it to only hold the ongoing exercise in the way it is being held.
She admitted the importance of the upcoming assembly elections this year and insisted on her believe in the ongoing process to deliver a free and fair elections.
She reiterated the need to ensure the credibility and integrity of the voter register demanded the requirements the Commission has put out for those who want to register. She emphasised that the requirement of a Ghana card as the only way the nation could be certain of the age and citizenship of prospective voters who want to register.
Thus, she called on the entire nation to help ensure only Ghanaians who are above the voting age of 18 participated in the process to maintain the sanctity of the voters register.
She also added that the Commission is interested in registering all eligible voters.
“In fact, we take pride that we have the second highest number of registered voters in all Africa. It is in our interest to register all voters”Jean Mnsah
Response To Allegations
Following the commencement of the ongoing limited registration exercise, the EC has come under a lot of pressure to expand registration centres beyond its District offices to make the process more accessible. Some, especially the NDC has criticised the EC for deliberately disenfranchising Ghanaians in the process.
In response to the allegations which have been made against the Commission over the weeks, to have been actively disenfranchising eligible voters, the chairperson called it false.
Furthermore, she highlighted how the Commission monitored the process keenly and addressed any issue raised at various centres.
So far, the electoral Commission has registered 182,831 voters in all.
This number is made up of 94,546 men (53.9%) and 84,285 women (46.1%).
The EC has set a target of 700,000 persons to register for itself in line with data from the Ghana Statistical Service and its own records.
The Commission encourages all eligible and desirous Ghanaians to register and be captured in the voters register.
Also, the Commission gave assurances to carry out mop-up exercises for difficult to access areas.
“In addition, we will identify difficult to access areas and undertake à mon-up registration of voters in those areas.”Jean Mensa
This press briefing by the Electoral Commission was dubbed Let The Citizen Know. It is an initiative of the electoral Commission to increase transparency in its operations and improve participation of the citizenry.