Ex-President John Dramani has raised serious concern over anomalies of the Electoral Commissions Voters registration exhibition exercise.
According to JM, Two days ago, his Running Mate, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang and himself , suspended their regional tours in the wake of widespread anomalies identified in the ongoing voter register exhibition exercise.
“Let me state at the outset that my Party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and I have an unflinching commitment to our democracy. We will do everything in our power to ensure it continues to be the anchor of this country’s much-vaunted peace and stability.” He said.
“Let me also remind you that in the past few years we have repeatedly drawn attention to a considerable number of unacceptable steps taken by the Electoral Commission, as presently constituted. These steps have the potential to wreck the democratic architecture that has seen the conduct of seven successful elections. ”
John Mahama adds that, “You will recall the numerous disagreements with the Electoral Commission (EC) regarding its mandate and relations with the Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC). For the past twenty or more years, IPAC, a committee of representatives of all political parties, has assisted the EC to carry out its constitutional duties to the satisfaction of all”.
That collaboration according to John Mahama has enabled the EC to improve on its transparency, credibility and confidence building systems in electoral management.
Adding that, This is what has also ensured the general acceptance of election results.
He claimed that, Unfortunately, for the EC, it has ignored valuable advice and the consensus building approach that has inured so well to the sustenance of multiparty democracy in our dear country.
Earlier this year, despite widespread protests against the compilation of a new voter register, the EC proceeded, headstrong and against all sound advice.
“The Commission also resisted all attempts to include the birth certificate of an applicant as one of the basic and well-recognised documents for a citizen’s registration into the new voter register.” He lamented.
To him, the voter registration exercise itself was characterized by bigotry and exclusion, where many citizens were crudely prevented from registering on the pretext that they were not Ghanaians. These acts of intimidation were perpetrated by the state security apparatus, which is now filled with vigilante elements loyal to the ruling NPP, with an impunity reminiscent of events at Ayawaso West Wuogon early last year.
What was worse and a danger to our democracy, was that in spite of the glaring evidence available, the President of the Republic denied knowledge of the occurrence of these events. He has also failed to take any action to forestall the recurrence of such acts of political thuggery.
The flagbearer held that, these irregularities, inconsistencies and intimidations are generating anxiety among the Ghanaian public that the upcoming elections may not be free and fair.
It is deeply troubling that the ongoing exhibition of the voters’ register has revealed significant omissions and in some other cases the deletion of the names of registered voters on a wide scale. There are also instances in which the gender, name and registration centre have been transposed.
Muftaw Iddrisu | Talks Africa Media