Bernard Allotey Jacobs, the former Chairman of the National Democratic Congress in the Central Region, has called on the public and political parties to help preserve the sanctity of the Electoral Commission.
He joins many Ghanaians who have called for calm in the heated criticisms the Electoral Commission has suffered in the ongoing registration process.
“The Electoral Commission has come a long way. Let us preserve the sanctity of the Electoral Commission.”Allotey Jacobs
He further warned that the country has come too far to allow any democratic regression as seen in many African countries recently. He sang the popular song “Y3 sim aky3” to the effect that Ghanaians should do everything in their power to protect and improve its democratic gains. He pleaded that citizens stay away from violent political rhetoric.
In addition, the popular politician admonished parties to pay more attention to party organization to increase their chances of winning. He cautioned that parties who overly focus on the shortcomings of the Electoral Commission at the expense of organizing eligible voters to register will pay a hefty price for their neglect.
He argued that, any party that accuses the Electoral Commission of being in bed with the ruling party shows its weakness and has no people.
Moreover, he indicated that elections are not won at the Electoral Commissioner’s strong room but are won at the polling station. He therefore made a passionate plead to the public, political parties, the Electoral Commission and all stakeholders to protect the sanctity of the Electoral Commission.
“Do your party organization well on the grounds and you will win because election is not won at the Electoral Commission’s strong. Elections is won at the polling station.”Allotey Jacobs
He emphasized also that, the Electoral Commission has come a long way too and must be protected. He requested that the public trust the commission to deliver on its mandate though the commission may be fallible at times.
“They are humans too. Let us have trust in them.”
Limited Voter Registration
On Tuesday, September 12, 2023, all 268 District offices of the Commission opened for a nationwide Limited Voters’ Registration Exercise, which allowed Ghanaians who had reached the age of 18 or older to register to vote.
The exercise which will end on October 2nd, 2023 is also opened to registered voters who have lost their cards.
The Electoral Commission has been accused by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) of delivering intentionally defective registration equipment to its strongholds, making it harder for first-time voters there to register.
The National Democratic Congress has further asserted that the Electoral Commission conspired with the government’s New Patriotic Party (NPP) to deny voting rights to eligible individuals.
Many, including the former president, John Dramani Mahama called on the Electoral Commission to expand its centres beyond the district capitals to bring the process closer to the people.
In response the Electoral Commission has maintain that its working plan and budget for this year only allowed the exercise to continue in its current form. However the Electoral Commission has assure the public of more registration exercises ahead of the 2024 general elections.
According to the Electoral Commission, it has registered a total of 182,831 voters in the first six days of the limited voter registration exercise being conducted across the country.
At a news conference titled “Let the Citizen Know” on Monday in Accra, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa, made this announcement.
“At the end of six days, we have recorded a total of 182,831 registered voters. Western region recorded 11,644 representing 6.4% of persons registered; Western North registered 6,491 representing 3.6%; Central region registered 17,590 representing 9.6%; Greater Accra region has registered 27,264 representing 14.9%; Volta region registered 12,681 representing 6.9%.
Oti region registered 4,427 representing 2.4%; Eastern region registered 19,327 representing 10.6%; Ashanti region registered 29,255 representing 16%, Bono region registered 6,580 representing 3.6%; Ahafo region registered 4,244 representing 2.3%; Upper East registered 8,639 representing 4.7% and Upper West region registered 5,241 representing 2.9%”.Jean Mensa- EC Chairperson