The political parties and civil society organizations (CSOs) opposed to the compilation of a new voters’ register ahead of Ghana’s December elections have staged their second street protest to drum home their demand.
The protesters marched through the principal streets of Ghana’s second city Kumasi (280 kilometers north of the capital) on Tuesday to urge the Electoral Commission (EC) to back down on the decision to replace the existing biometric voters roll.
The Kumasi protest, which followed the one held in Tamale, earlier this month also attracted huge participation as the parties involved bused in their members from all surrounding communities.
Some of the demonstrators displayed placards with inscriptions such as:”Don’t waste Ghana’s money on a needless register;” “Stop the conspiracy to rig the polls;” “We need more hospitals, not a new register,” and “Say no to the new voters register” among others.
The protests are under the umbrella body the Inter-Party Resistance Against a New Voters’ Register (IPRNA).
The protesters clad in their red attires, which in Ghanaian culture signifies fury at an unwanted situation, took their procession through the major streets in the Garden City (the nickname for Kumasi).
“The EC and its commissioners are not above the voices of the people, because although the EC is independent, it is accountable to the people,” the general-secretary of opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) chanted to the teeming crowd.
On Thursday, 18 CSOs, including the Ghana Center for Democratic (CDD), IMANI Ghana, and the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), held a press briefing to declare their opposition to the compilation of the new register.
Addressing the media, the CSOs averred that, rather than compiling an entirely new register, the EC should open the existing biometric register for verification and update the existing software and hardware of the system.
The EC, however, appears bent on going ahead to compile the new register, as it has given April as the time to commence the new registration. Enditem