National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi has given some compelling reasons why the Electoral Commission (EC) will not be able to carry out the compilation of the new voters register in June as planned.
The EC met with the Interparty Advisory Committee (IPAC) on Wednesday, 27th May, 2020 announcing plans to start the new voters registration in the last week of June 2020.
The first argument Mr Gyamfi raised was the time period needed for the current Constitutional Instrument (CI) presented to Parliament by the EC itself to mature. He argued that it was impossible for the electoral body to conduct the exercise and present to political parties a provisional register in time before the day of the election. Per Ghana’s electoral laws, the CI needs 21 days continuous parliamentary sitting to mature he added during the interview with Chief Jerry Forson (CJ) on Adom FM’s Dwaso Nsem on Thursday.
Mr. Sammy Gyamfi further argued that, even if the CI matures, which is difficult since some MPs have contracted the virus, thus pushing back the maturity date of the CI. He CI even after it has matured and the EC is given the go ahead to compile, the EC ought to document and gazette the details of all registration centers and make them available to the various political parties, 21 days prior to the start of the registration exercise itself.
Going on, he added that not even one out of the 8,000 Bio-metric Voter Registration (BVR) kits needed to conduct the exercise and subsequently the general elections was in the country; the manufacturers of the BVDs are encountering some challenges in the production of the machines, he added.
Mr. Gyamfi was therefore bamboozled how the EC was going to acquire the BVRs, get them tested and piloted before the commencement of the registration exercise slated for the last week of June.
In concluding his arguments, he stated that, should the NDC decide to forgo its resistance against the new voters register, per the time frame, the EC cannot conduct the registration exercise and present to the various political parties, a provisional voters’ register for the 2020 general election.
Sammy Gyamfi further questioned that, in the Electoral Commissions initial Timetable, the exercise was to begin on April 18th and the final register will be out on November 8th, so now that they want to start in June, when will the final register be out.