The Minority in Parliament has rejected the justifications given by the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) for the new CI seeking to make Ghana card the only identification for voter registration.
Chairperson for the EC Jean Mensah on Tuesday February 28 2023 told Parliament the new CI is to safeguard the sanctity of the electoral process devoid of foreign interference.
Mrs. Jean Mensah also justified the scrapping of the guarantor system. When questioned about the existence of the same system for Ghana card registration, the EC boss argued that system is more robust.
Addressing the media, Minority Leader, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson asked the EC to adopt the NIA system following the claim of the chairperson.
“We are quite sure many of you followed and reported on events in the Chamber last night, which showcased our opposition to an attempt by the Jean Mensah-led Electoral Commission to introduce a Constitutional Instrument before Parliament. The said C.I, the Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Instrument, 2022, seeks to make the Ghana Card the sole document for the registration of voters onto Ghana’s electoral roll.
“What Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution requires, is evidence of citizenship and not evidence or proof of identification. Any evidence of citizenship should therefore qualify a person to be registered. That is why under the current C.I 91 as amended by C.I 126, Ghanaian Passports and guarantor system are allowed as evidence of citizenship,” Mr. Forson stated.
He continued: “Clearly, the proposed C.I which makes the Ghana Card the sole requirement for voter registration serves as a restraint on citizen’s right to register and exercise their franchise in elections. It is important to remind the Electoral Commission headed by Madam Jean Mensah that the Commission is enjoined by the constitution to advance the right to vote and not introduce any law that seeks to curtail same.”
Chairman for Subsidiary Legislation Committee, Dr. Dominic Ayine argued there is not need for a new CI since the existing one used for the 2020 registration is still very potent.
Bawku Central MP Mahama Ayariga berated majority leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu for arguing nobody can stop government business such as the laying of the CI from taking place. He questioned why EC business has become government business
Bolgatanga Central MP Isaac Adongo asked the EC to first wait for the NIA to issue cards to every qualified Ghanaian before tabling the idea of a new CI.