The Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) has urged the National Identification Authority (NIA) to expedite its process in printing of Ghana Cards for Ghanaians yet to receive.
According to the Commission, it is necessary for the Authority to hasten the production of cards to Ghanaians. It noted that political parties and other major stakeholders must equally encourage their followers to register for the Ghana Cards.
The EC revealed that once this is done, it will enable persons with the Ghana card also register with the Electoral Commission to enable them vote in the 2023 District Assembly Elections and the 2024 General Elections.
“We call on the NIA to accelerate the pace of the printing of the Ghana cards to make it easy for anyone who is interested in registering with us to do so.”Samuel Tettey
Addressing journalists at the ‘Let The Citizen Know’ series, the Deputy Chair of the Commission in charge of Operations, Samuel Tettey, dismissed reports that the Ghana Card will be used instead of the Voter ID Card for the 2024 elections. He explained that the Ghana Card will rather be used for the continuous registration.
“We have also heard discussions to the effect that citizens will vote with the Ghana Card in 2024; this is not true. The card is only a requirement to register as a voter for those who have not previously registered as voters.”Samuel Tettey
Mr Tettey indicated that once an individual present his Ghana Card and successfully registers as a voter, he will be issued a voter’s identification card which bears the features of the EC such as the code of your region, district, electoral area, and polling station. With this, he emphasized that, it is not a periodic or limited registration exercise that could disenfranchise persons who do not have the Ghana Card at the time of the limited exercise.
“This is an all-year-round process… As such, anyone who has the card can just walk to our offices and register… As such, a person who doesn’t have the Ghana Card today can acquire it tomorrow and simply walk into a district office where he or she intends to vote and register.”Samuel Tettey
Minority cautions EC on Ghana Card
Meanwhile, the Minority in Parliament has cautioned the Electoral Commission (EC), Ghana not to take arbitrary decisions and operate as if it is a sole proprietorship. Member of Parliament for South Dayi, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, stated that the Commission must operate in accordance with the law.
Mr Daefamekpor highlighted that when the Commission appeared before the subsidiary committee some months ago, the officials were told not to go ahead with the new legislative instrument of relying solely on the Ghana Card.
“We interrogated the matter and advised that their decision to rely solely on the Ghana Card for purposes of conducting the present registration will not be feasible because the Ghana Card is not in the hands of every Ghanaian who is 18 years.”Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor
Mr Dafeamekpor revealed that the EC is only misconstruing the law and applying it in a manner that is inconsistent and that the only way to remedy the claim is to clean the register instead of adding to it.
“You want to add more numbers to the data you have [but] the data you already have contains certain number of names that entered onto the register using the guarantor system, so how do you say that that data is corrupt because certain persons entered using the very ‘corrupt’ means of guarantor system and therefore you want to rely only on Ghana Card?.”Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor