The Member of Parliament for Wa East in the Upper East Region, Dr Godfred Seidu Jasaw, has appealed to the Electoral Commission (EC) to create additional registration centres within the Wa East District to ensure that the Commission can register all eligible voters within the district.
He indicated that the creation of additional registration centres would address the accessibility challenges faced by residents of the Wa East District in participating in the ongoing limited voters’ registration exercise.
The Member of Parliament claimed that while the district office of the EC is now located near the Sissala belt, many residents are cut off entirely due to either flooded rivers or poor roads leading to the district capital, where the EC office is located.
“The situation we find ourselves in is a big constraint to us in accessibility and also for the exercise of registering new voters. The Wa East case is a unique one and the capital is in Funsi. Accessing Funsi is a very difficult situation and the road to the place has been cut off by the rivers, so that is our challenge now.
“So the choice of district capital for this registration is a huge constraint. So I would like to call on the government and the EC to consider opening a new registration centre for the Wa East District otherwise most eligible voters cannot get to the capital and register”.Dr. Godfred Seidu Jasaw
The MP’s appeal comes against the backdrop of the deplorable state of all the roads leading to the district capital, where the EC office is currently located.
MP Decries Of Poor State Of Road
According to the MP, the poor road conditions have made it very difficult for citizens to reach the registration center, severely limiting their ability to exercise their democratic rights.
Dr. Jasaw spoke to the media after the flowing water between Yanyuoriyi and the Ambalara bridge cut short his visit to the Electoral Commission office at the district capital. He stressed the urgent need for an additional accessible registration center for the residents of the Wa East District.
The Member of Parliament emphasized that no citizen should be denied his/her right to vote because their local communities lack adequate transportation infrastructure.
The legislator also bemoaned the fact that the district poor road conditions hinder regional development overall in addition to having an effect on the ongoing limited voter registration process.
He also underlined that it is a subject of fundamental infrastructure development rather than just an electoral issue.
Therefore, the MP is pleading with the Electoral Commission to act quickly by opening an additional registration centre that would be closer to and more easily accessible to the other parts of the district that are blocked off by rivers and the absence of motorable roads.
He pointed out that by doing that, the Electoral Commission will take down any obstacles that would deny potential registrants from actively engaging in the democratic process.
The ongoing limited voter registration is targeting to register at least 1.35 million people who have turned 18 years old since the last registration exercise in 2020. After the first six days of the registration exercise, 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 exercise commenced on Tuesday, September 12 and is expected to end on October 2, 2023.