EC to lay fresh bill before Parliament for Ghana Card as sole identity for voter registration
EC Chairperson Mrs Jean Mensa in a conversation with the NDC's Director of Elections, Dr Edward Omane Boamah after the IPAC meeting

EC to lay fresh bill before Parliament for Ghana Card as sole identity for voter registration

The Electoral Commission (EC) can now go ahead and lay a bill in Parliament to ensure that the Ghana national identification card, commonly known as Ghana Card will be the sole document of identification of citizenship for the registration of new voters.


The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mrs Jean Mensa on Wednesday told the Graphic Online that the EC had gotten the full support of all political parties,therefore, paving the way for the green light to go ahead with the necessary legislation.

Mrs Jean Mensa was speaking to the Graphic Online's Parliamentary correspondent, Nana Konadu Agyeman after an Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting in Accra on Wednesday [May 29, 2024].

In line with the move, Mrs Jean Mensa said the EC would lay such bill before Parliament during  the next session.

"At the Inter-party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting, the issue of Ghana Card was discussed extensively and I think the advise was that going forward, the EC should look at laying the bill that seeks to ensure that the Ghana Card is the sole document for the identification of a citizen," she said.

"The EC still holds the view that the Ghana Card will help to cure the bussing of minors and the infiltration of minors into our voters register".

“With one accord, we (parties at the IPAC) were of the view that we should have the avenue of exhibition to expunge minors from the register if some of them have managed to get on," she said.

The meeting allowed the EC, the leadership of political parties and some policy think tanks to take stock of the 2024 voters registration exercise, transfer of votes, proxy voting and the compilation of the special voters register which starts tomorrow.

The EC also presented a brief report on the exercise, looking at the challenges, successes and lessons learnt. The National Democratic Congress (NDC) team was led by its Director of Elections, Dr Edward Omane Boamah, while the New Patriotic Party (NPP) was led by the Minister of State at the Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, O. B. Amoah.

 Parliament’s rejection of Ghana Card

On March 31, 2023, Parliament rejected the EC’s use of the Ghana Card as the sole source of identification for one to be registered in the new voters register. The House unanimously recommended to the commission to include the guarantor system in the Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Regulation, 2023, a constitutional instrument, before it could present it for consideration.

The legislators were of the view that unless and until the challenges confronting the issuance of the Ghana Card were dealt with, using the Ghana Card as the only medium of voter registration would negatively impact the electoral roll, and thereby deny some otherwise qualified persons to register to vote.

"The EC should move slowly until every eligible voter is afforded the opportunity to register and procure the Ghana Card before the legislation of such a compulsion," they said.

Healthy debate

The EC chairperson said the parties discussed extensively the busing of minors to the various registration centres during the exercise. He said all the political parties agreed that such practices were visible as minors attempted to register in some places.

To curb such a practice in future registration exercises, Mrs Mensa said parties “advised” the EC to consider laying the bill to stop the practice in future registration exercises. She described the meeting as “constructive and healthy dialogue” with the leadership of the political parties.

She said the debate the parties engaged in was healthy and devoid of acrimony and tensions. “It was very useful and the feedback that came from the political parties will be taken on board by the EC as we prepare for future registration exercises,” she said.

Dr Omane Boamah said the NDC raised concern about the stolen components of the Biometric Voters Registration (BVR) kits. He said the NDC had 35 questions and wanted to know if the EC was ready to answer them, but he said the EC responded that the matter was still in court.

However, the parties agreed that there were still aspects of the questions that did not border on the court case. “This is to restore our confidence in the process going forward but the EC has committed to engaging their lawyers who are pursuing the case in court so that they will advise if these aspects of the questions can be answered.

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