The Electoral Commission (EC) has announced that citizens who cannot register in the ongoing limited voter registration exercise will get the opportunity to do so in 2024.
Consequently, the chairperson of the commission, Madam Jean Adukwei Mensa, refuted claims by various political parties, indicating that the commission was disenfranchising many eligible voters.
“Our budget and work plan has been approved by parliament, and so parliament is aware of every budget we are working with. Our plan for 2024 is to take up a mop exercise in the difficult-to-access areas after the continuous exercise in all our district offices across the country,” the EC assured in a press briefing.
“Therefore, people who are unable to register in the ongoing exercise will get the opportunity to do so next year”.
She further disclosed that 182,831 citizens have been able to register in the ongoing limited voter registration exercise so far.
Many critics, including the flagbearer of the opposition NDC, John Dramani Mahama, have requested a review of the process.
The minority caucus in parliament and five other political parties had also expressed disagreement with the EC concerning the registration exercise being held at the EC’s district offices.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, explained that the entire registration process could disrupt the country’s democratic procedures.
He was of the view that the EC should decentralise the exercise to enable the majority of citizens who have attained age 18 or might have lost their ID cards to register without any difficulties.
For him, limiting the exercise to the districts and not to polling stations could disenfranchise many eligible voters in the upcoming 2024 general elections.
“All of us don’t want coups to happen in our jurisdictions,” Ablakwa said. “But you see, when public officials refuse to learn, it results in coups. The Gabon coup is an example and has ended in the disruption of their democracy. And we don’t want that in Ghana”.
The MP, in addition, urged the EC chairperson to consult stakeholders on the ongoing registration process and urged the youth who will be unable to register to hold the EC responsible for her actions.
“Look at the anger and outrage that the youth feel about these policies of Jean Mensa. Very autocratic, very undemocratic, no consultation whatsoever. And she is going ahead”.
The limited voter registration exercise is ongoing at the 268 District Offices of the Commission and the Electoral Commission across the country.
The EC hopes to register 1,350,000 new voters by the close of the exercise on October 2, 2023.