NDC will resist attempt to scrap guarantor system — Haruna Iddrisu
Former Minority Leader and National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale South in the Northern Region, Haruna Iddrisu, has stated that the party will resist any attempt by the Electoral Commission (EC) to scrap the guarantor system as a requirement for voter registration exercise.
He said “as a party, we want to serve notice to any person and the EC that any attempt to do away with the tried and tested guarantor system to prevent eligible Ghanaians from enjoying their constitutional right to vote will be fiercely fought”.
Mr Iddrisu stated this while addressing enthusiastic party supporters at the Ramsey Park in Bolgatanga, the Upper East Regional capital, at the end of a health walk last Saturday organised by the Bolgatanga Central Constituency branch of the party.
Notable among the party executives and MPs who participated in the health walk were the first National Vice Chairman, Sofo Awudu Azorka; a Deputy National Youth Organiser, Ruth Dela Seddoh; MP for Okaikoi North, Theresa Awuni; MP for Kumbumbu, Prof. Hamza Adam, among others.
The EC, at its press briefing on October 17, 2023, addressed by a Deputy Chairman of the Commission in charge of Operations, Samuel Tettey, said under the current circumstances, the guarantor system had outlived its usefulness and could not be maintained.
He stated that the use of the system was fraught with blatant abuse as witnessed in the just-ended voter registration exercise, saying “the best proof of a person’s citizenship in Ghana is the Ghana Card”.
“If indeed we are committed to strengthening our electoral processes then the guarantor system must be abolished sooner than later,” he said.
However, Mr Iddrisu, addressing the party supporters, stated that ahead of the just-ended limited voter registration exercise, the EC wanted to do away with the guarantor system which infringed on the right of citizens to register and vote under Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution.
He noted that at the end of the exercise, out of a total of 910,000 Ghanaians who were registered, 61 per cent amounting to 550,000 were registered onto the voters register through the guarantor system.
With this outcome, he indicated that if the EC had succeeded in abolishing the guarantor system, the 550,000 people would have been denied the opportunity to register to exercise their franchise.
“There is absolutely nothing wrong with the current legal framework or regime governing the conduct of voter registration exercise and should remain as such,” Mr Iddrisu stated.
Touching on the current state of the economy, he expressed worry that when the NDC wins the 2024 election, it would inherit a struggling economy with no physical space to operate, saying “our national debt now stands at 99 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)”.
That notwithstanding, he urged the party supporters to work very hard to enable the party to win the next general election to save the country and turn things around for the benefit of all Ghanaians.
Further, he charged the party members to ensure that the agenda to win all 15 parliamentary seats and increase the presidential votes becomes a reality to brighten the party’s chances of winning the 2024 election to form the next government.