National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Sammy Gyamfi has described as nonsensical, preposterous and acceptable comments by the Director of Electoral Services of the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC), Dr Serebuor Quaicoe.
The EC top boss is on record to have said that persons unable to take advantage of the ongoing Limited Voter Registration exercise due to distance can defer their registration to next year when the EC organises other voter registration exercises.
Dr Serebuor Quaicoe, while justifying the decision of the EC to conduct this year’s limited Voter Registration exercise at only its 268 district offices, noted that persons who live far away from the district offices and therefore will be unable to access the offices can wait till next year to register.
“For those in hard-to-reach areas, we are only appealing to them to find a way to get to the district offices for registration. Otherwise, they would have to wait for next year. But even next year, we can’t be everywhere. It will depend on situations on the ground in terms of figures. Because we won’t say that, because we have to serve hard-to-reach areas, we will send our tools to just three people in a particular area,” Dr Quaicoe had said in an interview with Asempa FM’s Ekosiisen programme.
But Sammy Gyamfi, in reaction, noted that that explanation is simply untenable given that the challenges of the ongoing registration exercise are a creation of the EC itself.
He also noted that district assembly elections will be held this year and persons who obtain the voter identity cards will be qualified to vote and be voted for. So, telling them to wait till next year is simply disenfranchising them.
“The ongoing limited voter registration is intended to capture persons who have turned 18 years or above unto the electoral roll in order to afford them the opportunity to vote in public elections and referenda, in line with article 42 of the Supreme Law of the Land.
Persons registered, who are 21 years or above will have the right to contest in public elections. As a country, we have a major and important public election ahead of us this year- District/Municipal/Metropolitan Assembly and Unit Committee elections, 2023.
This important election allows voters to choose leaders to represent them at the Assembly and Unit committee levels. Telling these eligible voters to defer their registration to next year, because of impediments you have deliberately and unreasonably put in their way, is tantamount to telling them to defer the exercise of their constitutional and inalienable right to vote in the upcoming Assembly and Unit Committee elections and/or contest to be elected in same.
This is simply nonsensical, preposterous and unacceptable!” Mr Gyamfi wrote.
He called on Ghanaians to rise up against “this obscene tyranny” of the EC.