fbpx

Decision to use Ghana Card as sole document for voter registration: We are not aware - NDC

BY: Political Desk Report
Samuel Ofosu Ampofo — NDC National Chairman
Samuel Ofosu Ampofo — NDC National Chairman

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has stated that it has never been a party to any consultation or meeting in whatsoever form that agreed to make the Ghana Card the sole identification document for the upcoming limited voter registration exercise.

The party has, therefore, served notice that it would use all legitimate means to oppose the decision by the Electoral Commission (EC) to use the Ghana Card as the sole identification document for the voter registration.

EC’s decision

A statement issued and signed by the National Chairman of the NDC, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, said the attention of the party had been drawn to news attributed to officials of the EC that the commission had agreed with political parties and civil society organisations that the Ghana Card should be the sole document for the upcoming limited voter registration exercise.

"For the avoidance of doubt, the NDC wishes to state, unequivocally, that it has not been party to any such consultation or meeting in whatsoever form that resulted in any such decision," it said.

The party said it would fully apprise the public of the implications of the statement made by the EC in the coming days.

Right to register

The party reminded the EC that under Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution, “Every Ghanaian of 18 years and above and of sound mind is entitled to register as a voter for the purposes of elections.”

This right to register and exercise one's franchise is an inalienable right that should not be denied citizens who qualify to exercise same.

"Again, Article 45 (e) of the Constitution enjoins the EC to undertake programmes for the expansion of the registration of voters.

It is for this reason that the NDC cannot be party to any decision that seeks to constrict access to the electoral roll or disenfranchise qualified citizens from joining the electoral roll," it said.

The party said it agreed with the former chair of the commission, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, that any attempt by the EC to use Ghana Card as the sole document for voter registration would lead to the disenfranchisement of millions of Ghanaians.

"We are not oblivious of the challenges millions of Ghanaians are going through to obtain the Ghana Card. The recent pandemonium that characterised registration centres due to the unrealistic deadlines for SIM registration is a case in point", it stated.

"It is worthy of note that data from the National Identification Authority (NIA) indicates that only 16,654,072 Ghanaians out of a national population of about 31 million had registered for the Ghana card as at July 2022. Of this number, 13,316,612 have been issued with their Ghana cards”, the statement said

"It is obvious from this data that there are many Ghanaians who have just turned 18 years or will turn 18 years by the next limited registration period who may not have a Ghana card. Therefore, any decision that seeks to make the Ghana card the sole identification document for voter registration will disenfranchise many eligible voters," it said.