• Hassan Ayariga — Founder, APC
• Hassan Ayariga — Founder, APC

Use of Ghana Card for voter registration:5 Parties express varied opinions

Five political parties have expressed varied opinions on the Electoral Commission’s (EC) proposed new Constitutional Instrument (C.I) that seeks to make the Ghana Card the sole identification document for continuous voter registration in the country.

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They are the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), the Convention People's Party, the People’s National Convention (PNC), the All People’s Congress (APC) and the Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG).

The National Communication Director of the PPP, Emmanuel F. Mantey; the General Secretary of the PNC, Janet Asana Nabla; the Founder of APC, Hassan Ayariga; the Chairperson of the CPP, Nana Akosua Frimpongmaa Sarpong Kumankumah, and the General Secretary of the LPG, Jerry Owusu Appauh, expressed the views in separate interviews with the Daily Graphic.  

PPP

 Mr Mantey said the decision by the EC to use the Ghana Card as the sole document for identification to register eligible voters was misplaced and a recipe to disenfranchise potential voters. 

 He, therefore, called on the EC to provide an alternative form of identification for people who no fault of theirs might not have a national identification card. 

“We are aware of the challenges faced by the National Identification Authority (NIA) in terms of delivering its mandate to have all citizens register and have their identity cards. This should guide the EC in its decisions regarding the new C. I so that no Ghanaian is disenfranchised in the 2024 general election,” he said.

• Emmanuel F. Mantey— PPP National Communication Director

CPP

 Nana Sarpong Kumankumah said the EC must focus on delivering its constitutional mandate of registering all eligible voters and should not rely on the NIA in the discharge of its duty.

She said the challenges encountered in the use of the Ghana Card for the registration of SIM cards indicated that relying on the card alone to register voters could be problematic.

“I think the EC’s constitutional mandate has been compromised. It appears that they are hiding under the NIA, another institution that is not a constitutional requirement to execute its mandate,” she said.

PNC

 Ms Nabla reiterated the party’s support for the Ghana Card to be used as the sole source of identification for eligible voters who wanted to get onto the electoral roll.

She described as unambiguous the intended C.I. planned to be tabled by the EC in Parliament. 

She said the EC’s decision was in line with the national policy that stipulated that all institutions should register people using the Ghana Card and that it was nothing new.

She cited Regulation 7 of Legislative Instrument (LI) 2111, which supported the mandatory use of national identity cards for transactions such as registration of voters and registration of SIM cards to buttress her point.

The PNC general secretary, therefore, urged all party members and the entire population to acquire the Ghana Card.

She also called on the government to assist the NIA in any manner possible to enable the authority to deliver on its mandate of issuing identification cards.

Janet Asana Nabla— PNC General Secretary

APC

 Hassan Ayariga stated that the decision by the EC to rely on the Ghana Card for the limited registration exercise was in the right direction.  

The APC, he said, had problems with the guarantor system, which was fraught with many challenges and could no longer provide a secure system of voter registration for the country.

LPG

 Mr Appauh said his party was in full support of the EC because the LI 2111 of the National Identification Regulation 2012, has made it mandatory for voters to be accepted to register with the EC with only the Ghana Card.

  As members of the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC), all political parties present in subsequent meetings have agreed on the new C. I to be passed so that the necessary changes could be made for more transparent and credible electoral processes.

Recall

The Chairperson of the EC, Jean Mensa, last Tuesday, briefed Parliament’s Committee of the Whole on the new draft of Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Regulations, 2022.

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She told the House that the use of the Ghana Card as the source document to prove one’s identity would help to rid the electoral register of foreigners and help guarantee the integrity and credibility of the register.

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