The Electoral Commission (EC) has been inconsistent with its posture over whether to have a new voters’ register or not, Bright Simons has said
According to the Honorary Vice President of IMANI Africa, all other parties including the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and civil society groups have been consistent with their arguments of whether there is the need to have a new voter register for the December 7th elections or not.
He noted that whilst the NPP claims the new register in its current state cannot be used to conduct the December elections, the NDC opposes a new voter register but the situation is however mixed with regard to CSOs.
“There is so much inconsistencies in EC’s decisions in relation to the voters’ register”, Mr. Simons said.
“The only institution that has changed their posturing is the EC. Everybody has been very consistent in making their claims they have been making. If the EC that all of a sudden says that they want to change the register and refuses to give a reason. And the reason that it gives fails to stand to scrutiny it simply retrieves into this sense that it is not accountable to anybody.”
Vice President Dr. Mahamumdu Bawumia in 2015 claimed the voters register particularly in the Volta region was over bloated.
Mr. Simons responded saying “In 2015 those of us in civil society organizations including IMANI had some sympathy for the NPP position particularly because the EC was being so recalcitrant; they were not listening”
“We also felt that the argument that we needed to make sure that the register was valid, because it is universal register, one person one vote, meaning that if you have a means in which you can vote multiple times and the rest of it, we invalidate that constitutional requirement, for that reason we were very sympathetic.
Mr. Simons called for a potential compromise among all stakeholders to ensure whether the compilation of a new register is necessary or not or otherwise.
“We have proposed given that distribution of opinions that we have a potential compromise. You can do a situation where you use the same validation requirements that were presented in the Abu Ramadan case where the court said that you couldn’t use an alien process but if you could use an existing exhibition and challenge process that is fine. We can elaborately improve upon that process.” He revealed on Joy Fm’s news analysis Programme Newsfile