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Barely two years after subjecting Ghanaians through the torment of acquiring new voter identification (ID) cards in a COVID-19-stricken period, the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana is yet again planning to compile another whole new register for the upcoming general elections, a move allegedly hatched with the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) months ago at the blind side of the opposition political parties with the aim of making the Ghana Card the sole document in the exercise.
The Electoral Commission in June 2020 compiled a new voter register after Parliament approved a budget of over GHS 390 million for the exercise, despite opposition from major civil society organizations, political parties and the general public. The EC controversially went ahead to produce a new register even though it had no current data from the Population and Housing Census exercise as has been the convention adopted by the Commission in previous years.
With a little over two years more for the country’s crucial general elections, the EC is yet again set to produce a new voters’ register with the newly introduced Ghana Card as the only required document for the exercise. Some top government officials and leading members of the NPP who are sympathizers of the vice president Dr. Mahmoud Bawumia are reported to have been the brain behind this new imposition on the Electoral Commission, damning the cost once it will help advance their electoral fortunes. To these cabal, they consider the chairperson of the Commission, Mrs. Jean Mensa as a sympathizer of the party who would easily do their bidding. The new development is seen as an attempt to rig the 2024 elections for the ruling party which has a poor rating from the Ghanaian voters due to the high levels of corruption, high cost of living and unemployment in the country. The only means to retain political power therefore, is to connive with the EC to tilt the process in their favor.
In the 2020 registration, the EC had 17,027,641 on its register as valid voters from the sixteen (16) regions of Ghana with Greater Accra region leading with 3,528,996 registered voters. The North East Region, one of the newly created regions, had the least number of 289,529 valid voters.
It remains to be seen whether the Mrs. Jean Mensa will indeed execute the new plan from the NPP to have a new register to promote their electoral fortunes or she will work in the interest of the country.