Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Saturday, September 05, 2015
Former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings says everything is pointing to the fact that the current voters register is ‘bloated’.
She has therefore backed the numerous calls for the register to be replaced before the crucial 2016 general election which will see President John Mahama seeking a second term in office.
Currently, the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) is mounting incessant pressure on the Electoral Commission (EC) to replace the Biometric Voters’ Register (BVR) and the former First Lady who broke ranks with the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) in 2011 to form the National Democratic Party (NDP) said the NPP’s call was right and should be supported by all democracy-loving people.
The NPP led by its running-mate Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has been able to show what it says are the names of over 80,000 foreigners mostly from Togo in the register and have insisted that using the current register for the 2016 election will compromise the credibility of the all-important exercise.
“I believe that it will serve the interest of Ghana and Ghanaians if the voters’ register is revisited and we all re-register and weed out all the ghost names and foreign names, to see the real potential of the Ghanaian voter and let them vote for who they want,” Mrs. Rawlings said at a media briefing on Thursday.
“I think it is in our interest as a nation to do that because to pretend that we do not know that it is bloated and all that is a farce,” she said.
The former First Lady said once a ‘cleaned’ register was perfectly done, Ghana could consider electronic voting saying “and as much as our party the NDP says that the voters’ register should be cleaned out, we also believe that if it is done and done well for Ghana to have a quick step ahead of the rest of West Africa, maybe we should also be looking at electronic voting after we’ve re-registered and we’ve seen how its working, that should be the next move.”
“You go to the box and put your hand on the machine then the machine counts for you so that no human being will do that to add some numbers to it. It would be clear for us as to who a winner is in any election then there would be no discrepancies and so on. Therefore we believe that the voters register must be looked at again for us to have a new register so that it will be clean with no issues of pink sheets and the likes,” she added.
So far the new EC chaired by new boss Mrs. Charlotte Osei has asked all political parties and stakeholders to justify their claims of a bloated register with a proposal for consideration.
Interestingly, almost all political parties with the exception of the NDC and some non-existent parties are in favour of the preparation of an entirely new voters register.
The ruling party is vehemently opposing the preparation of a new register and its executives and other top officials have virtually turned spokespersons of the EC, parrying every suggestion for the new exercise.
The parties have been given up to September 22, 2015 to make the submissions following an Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting with the EC in Accra on August 21.