At least 29,442 names missing from new voters’ register-NDC claims
The National Democratic Congress says it has identified at least 29,442 names that are missing from the new voter’s register being exhibited.
The party claimed this number means thousands of people are at risk of disenfranchisement.
The worst affected constituency is Binduri in the Upper East Region where at least 7,605 names have disappeared from the electoral roll, according to the party’s flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama.
This is followed by Ashaiman, where Mr Mahama claimed 7,000 names could not be found in the register even after the EC had updated it.
This followed a brouhaha that came after the Member of Parliament for the constituency, Ernest Norgbey, claimed that 21,000 names including his had been omitted from his constituency’s register.
The EC refuted the claims, insisting that the MP’s name was in the register. The MP would later say, the EC had now included his name in its update.
Mahama rehased this incident at the press conference.
“In response to this and very dubiously, the EC presented a new register which was still short of 7,000 names although this time, the name of the MP was included,” Mr Mahama alleged.
Mr. Mahama cut short his campaign tour of the Bono Region, to address a press conference in Accra.
The 2020 NDC flagbearer also released a long list of constituencies having similar problems which he noted validated the NDC’s position that a new voters’ register is a needless, time-wasting, exercise.
Opposition parties in Ghana often have a frosty and distrustful relationship with the EC. Ahead of the 2016, The NPP claimed some 76,000 Togolese were on Ghana’s voter register.
“When we began the search it was quite amazing what we began to find. The names are exactly the same in Togo and in Ghana. We were able to match these faces and the technology will find you out whether you are wearing a scarf or not,” the NPP’s running mate, Dr Mahamudu Dawumia, said in August 2015.
Dr Bawumia noted that the team had managed to complete less than 10 per cent of the search.
Below is the breakdown of the missing names as presented by the NDC:
Ketu South – 6,158
Anlo – 984
Akatsi South – 426
Ketu North -260
Keta – 275
Jirapa – 2,057
Three constituencies—Karaga, Tamale South, Tolon constitutiences- 2,173
Klottey Korley – 2, 504
Apart from the missing names, Mr Mahama also pointed at the duplication of voter ID numbers and cited the Krowor Constituency where 2,453 people have been affected in eight centres.
A similar challenge is also in the Central Region, where he said his running mate, Prof Naana Jane Opoku-Agyeman was also affected.
He also accused the EC of mysteriously adding 907 names to the Asawase register.
While he admitted that the omission of names after the compilation of a new register was not new, his worry was that “the magnitude of the recorded anomalies in this voters’ exhibition are usual and unprecedented.”
“It gives us a genuine cause for concern about the credibility of the register and the integrity of the electoral process. This is particularly so given the limited amount of time we have for the resolution of these major challenges before we go into the December elections,” he explained.
The Electoral Commission had in a statement acknowledged there were minor errors that it was correcting.
The EC, however, maintained that the omission of names from a newly compiled voter register was normal and the exhibition process had always been the antidote.
But Mr Mahama described the statement as a public relations gimmick.
“The Electoral Commission recognises its failures and the potential challenges posed to the elections by these infractions,” he said.
The Electoral Commission on Wednesday announced that it was extending the voter register exhibition which ends on September 25 to September 27.
But Mahama is not satisfied.
He said the decision vindicated the “position of the NDC.”
He wants more.
“We, however, think the two-day extension is inadequate to address the magnitude of issues that we have discovered that needs to be addressed.
“The NDC wishes to recommend to the EC once again to repeat a regular comprehensive and transparent dialogue with IPAC,” he said.
The NDC Presidential candidate, therefore, urged the EC to take immediate steps to rectify and sanitise the register and re-exhibit it to afford the voting public and all stakeholders an opportunity to verify their particulars in the voter’s register before it is finalised.
He said while the NDC was committed to consolidating the country’s democratic gains, it would not “accept the results of a flawed election.”