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Akufo-Addo lifted restriction to advance election-rigging agenda – NDC

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has accused President Nana Akufo-Addo of easing COVID-19 restrictions to facilitate moves to rig the 2020 polls.

At the maiden edition of the NDC’s Weekly Press Briefing in Accra on Monday, June 1, the NDC National Communications Officer, Sammy Gyamfi, said the reason for Mr Akufo-Addo’s action “is mainly intended to pave the way for the Electoral Commission to carry out its rigging agenda through the needless and wasteful new voter registration agenda.”

Divided

Ghana will be heading to the polls before the end of the year, and the Electoral Commission (EC) will be adopting a new voters’ roll for the exercise.

But the EC’s decision to compile a new voter’s register has divided the nation as the some opposition parties, including the NDC and the Peoples National Convention, insist it is needless. The New Patriotic Party(NPP), however, supports the idea of a new voters’ register.

The EC announced at an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting on May 27 that the registration of the voter roll will commence in the last week of June.

Easing restrictions 

In an address by President Nana Akufo-Addo on Sunday, May 31, Mr Akufo-Addo eased restrictions on social gatherings. He gave the green light for the activities of the EC and the National Identification Authority (NIA) to proceed.

That is not all. Churches and mosques have been permitted to hold services with 100 worshippers in attendance. The congregants are required to wear a mask, stay at least one meter apart, observe hand-washing and abide by other COVID-19 safety protocols.

NDC’s objections 

However, Mr Gyamfi raised objections to the arrangement proposed for the EC.

According to him, the “EC has been given the freedom to register an unlimited number of people from 7 am to 5 pm, that’s for a period of 10 hours, (which) shows clearly that the so-called partial reopening of schools, churches and mosques was only a ruse to the President’s main agenda”.

He also condemned the EC for refusing an invitation from the National House of Chiefs for a dialogue on the registration exercise.

“Our traditional authorities are key stakeholders in Ghana’s peace architecture and have contributed enormously to the peace, stability and democracy of this country. The refusal of the Jean Mensah-led EC to honour their invitations is highly disrespectful, and an insult to the values and customs of this country, and must be condemned by all well-meaning Ghanaians”, he stressed.

The NDC, which is opposed to the new voter roll together with some other political parties, said they “shall employ every legitimate means to stop the EC’s attempt to foist on Ghanaians a needless and wasteful voter register that is intended to disenfranchise millions of eligible voters, mostly in NDC strongholds”.

However, the EC insists that its decision was meant to provide a credible register, as the current one was not fit for purpose.

It maintains that some of its biometric equipment were outdated and would be more expensive to fix than a new register.

 

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