Dr. Ato Forson
Minority lawmakers have announced that they will work with their party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), to hold a major forum on the draft Constitutional Instrument (C.I.) by the Electoral Commission to explain their issues to Ghanaians.
Dr. Ato Forson, the Minority Leader, stated that they would be engaging a wide range of stakeholders in the coming days, including the country’s development partners, faith-based organizations, traditional authorities, and civil society organizations.
Addressing the media in Parliament yesterday, he stated that the move is intended to educate these stakeholders in Ghana’s election process about the issues at stake and the consequences of eliminating the guarantor system.
He contended that, given the critical nature of the issue at hand and the potential for the draft Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Regulations 2023 to undermine the nation’s democracy, they had no choice but to take that step.
The EC Chairperson, Jean Mensa, stated on Tuesday that the proposed legislation would use the Ghana Card as the sole form of identification for anyone wishing to register as a voter, and added that this would eliminate the guarantor system that previously allowed a registered voter to vouch for the citizenship and age of prospective applicants.
She claimed that using the Ghana Card as the only form of identification will prevent foreigners and minors from being added to the voter roll, and that only eligible Ghanaians should be allowed to vote in the country.
She told Parliament that the C.I. would prevent unqualified people from influencing the country’s elections.
However, the Minority Leader stated that any attempt by the EC to insist on the Ghana Card as the sole identity document for voter registration will deprive the vast majority of citizens of their constitutional right to register and vote.
“The proposed C.I seeks to completely eliminate the use of the guarantor system for the purpose of proving one’s eligibility to be captured onto the voter’s register. This proposition, we reckon, is a deliberate plot to deprive millions of Ghanaians the opportunity to register and have their names on the electoral roll,” he noted.
By Ernest Kofi Adu, Parliament House