2024 polls: Afari-Gyan Cautions EC Against Ghana Card

Source The Ghana Report

Former Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (E.C), Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, has cautioned the commission against using the Ghana Card as the sole form of identification for the next general election.

According to him, the proposal by the E.C to register new voters with only the Ghana card as a recipe for disaster, adding that the Electoral Commission must tread cautiously as its decision could disenfranchise many Ghanaians in the 2024 elections.

Speaking in an interview with Graphic Online, Dr. Afari-Gyan said millions of qualified electorates will be disenfranchised by the E.C’s decision to make the Ghana card the only form of identification for voter registration.

“Ghanaian citizens don’t lose their citizenship if they are 18 years or older but do not have the Ghana Card. So, the moot question is: why make the Ghana Card the only means of identification for purposes of establishing eligibility to register to vote,” he quizzed.

He added that in spite of its crucial role in elections, the EC was not the decider of elections, but rather the electorate.

“The electorate are the kingmakers. So, a basic responsibility of any electoral commission is to facilitate the realisation of the people’s right to register as voters, and not to obstruct that right by demanding for registration purposes documents that are not easily accessible to the people,” he added.

His comments follow a Constitutional Instrument (C.I) that the Electoral Commission proposed in a draft and laid before Parliament in July.

The C.I., which is titled: Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Regulations, 2021, will form the Constitutional framework which would regulate the continuous voter registration by the Electoral Commission.

Per the draft before Parliament, the Ghana Card will be the sole form of identification for eligible voters who want to get onto the electoral register ahead of the 2024 elections.

The minority in Parliament has condemned the actions and draft of the E.C., citing that the E.C. wants to use the Ghana Card to compile a new voter’s register for the purposes of Elections.

The EC on the other hand, debunked the assertion by the minority saying, the new C. I was only meant to regulate continuous registration, with the Ghana Card as the source document.

“We are not compiling a new voters register. The one we compiled in 2020 is a credible one, a very good register so we are not dispensing with it,” the Director of Electoral Services of the EC, Dr. Serebour Quaicoe, told the media.

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