The Inter-Party Resistance Against a New Voters’ Register (IPRNA), has begun a series of protests against the compilation of a new voter roll by the Electoral Commission (EC).
The first demonstration was held on Saturday at Tamale in the Northern Region.
Hundred of members and other individuals who have kicked against the new register gathered at the Jubilee Park and marched through the principal streets of Tamale to register their displeasure and compel the EC to rescind its decision.
The aggrieved persons, clad in red attire, carried placards some of which read: “We need new President not new register”,” CPP says no new register”,” Jean Mensah your days are numbered”,” PPP must be strong to fight on the political front to give hope to many”.
Members of the IPRNA include the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Convention People’s Party (CPP), People’s National Convention (PNC), Eagle Party, All People’s Congress (APC), United Peoples Party (UPP) and the United Front Party (UFP).
They are fighting the acquisition of a new voter roll less than a year to the presidential and parliamentary polls scheduled for December 2020.
To justify the proposal, the EC said a new register was critical for the 2020 polls as they need a new Biometric Voter Management System to replace what they say has become obsolete.
In the view of the EC, the current register is bloated and the solution is the acquisition of a fresh one. They also argued that cleaning the register would cost more compared to the procurement of a new system. Moreover, they want total access to data and critical information hence selection of a new vendor that will give absolute control to the EC.
The EC requested and parliament approved about GH¢400million for the exercise.
However, the protestors find it unnecessary since the same register compiled in 2012 was used for the last two general and parliamentary polls, the referendum to create new regions and the local government polls to elect heads of the various assemblies and unit committee members in 2019.
The demonstrations will be replicated in Kumasi and Accra on January 21, and 28 respectively.
Meanwhile, the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and other political parties have formed a coalition to back the EC.
Members of the coalition in support of the new voter roll include the Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG), National Democratic Party (NDP), Ghana Freedom Party (GFP), United Love Party (ULP), New Vision Party (NVP), Yes People’s Party (YPP), Democratic People’s Party (DPP), Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) and the Reformed Patriotic Democrats Party (RDP).