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The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, says the Electoral Commission’s (EC) accounting to the Special Budget Committee on its preparedness for the registration of voters later this month was satisfactory.
According to him, the responses from the EC, led by its Chairperson, Jean Mensa, on Tuesday, June 16, 2020, was convincing and persuading.
This is in contrast to the less favourable assessment by the Minority in Parliament following the meeting.
“We were convinced and persuaded by what they said to us; that as much as they want to see how the system functions if there is any problem, they will immediately replace them so that they [EC] will have smooth conduct of the registration,” he said.
The Majority Leader noted that the EC had touched on the hitches in the pilot voter registration, in the Western Region especially.”
“They have done some piloting and I think they were very successful in the piloting and they related to one incident in the Western Region. They said in the Western Region, on the second day, one of the machines malfunctioned and the reason was that the Electricity system and some disconnection and so the machine couldn’t function which is why they have a back up of equipment when anything happens and immediately that machine was replaced.”
“But the manufacturers have about four technicians in the system who are teaching them (EC) how to immediately repair any of the machines that should malfunction but by and large, the others operated efficiently,” Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu recounted.
Troubling responses from Electoral Commission
He said he found her responses, troubling for the future of the country’s democracy.
“Having listened to her, I feel profoundly troubled in my heart for the future of Ghana’s democracy and I feel disappointed that in her answers to questions at the committee level, she made to significant worrying statements that the people of Ghana must know,” Haruna Iddrisu remarked.
Mr Iddrisu also raised concern with the phasing the registration exercise at the various registration centres.
“They intend to phase out the registration exercise in some 6,300 registration centres out of the 33,000 registration centres across the country…That troubles my heart because Article 42 will not be observed in essence through making available to Ghanaian people are legitimate right they are entitled to.”
Typical of election years, the EC has been under serious scrutiny, especially from some opposition parties over its decision to compile a new voter register.
The EC has since been dragged to court by the largest opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) particularly for excluding the use of the current voters’ ID from the list of proofs of identification.
Meanwhile, the Commission has already commenced processes to start compiling the new register on June 30.