A lawyer, Martin Kpebu, has called on the Electoral Commission (EC) to reconsider its decision to use Ghana Card as the only source document for continuous voter registration.
He said there were too many hurdles for Ghanaians to acquire the Ghana Card, and suggested that “Perhaps we can roll out a programme, maybe over 10 years, but today to make a law… it is a farce. It is just not possible,” he said on The Big Issue show, on TV3 at the weekend.
MrKpebu said the EC should stick to current modes of identification, which include a passport, a national ID, an existing voter ID or two guarantors, adding that “this guarantee system has worked and worked overtime… the guarantee system has never been a major national issue.”
Also speaking on the Show, IMANI Africa’s President, Franklin Cudjoe, noted that pressure would be put on the National Identification Authority (NIA) for the provision of Ghana Card.
“I do not think I have any major issues on the use of the Ghana Card for registering, except to say that the NIA, therefore, must be able to fast-track the registration in order to procure a voter ID. “I don’t think they [the NIA] should be short-changed into meeting someone else’s timelines,” he said.
Earlier on Friday, aformer Chairman of the EC, DrKwadwoAfari-Gyan, had said the decision of the Commission to use the Ghana Card as the only form of continuous voter registration would result in the disenfranchisement of millions of qualified Ghanaians.
He said many Ghanaians were finding it difficult to obtain Ghana Cards, and making it the only form of identification for voter registration was against electoral inclusivity, fairness and justice.
DrAfari-Gyan was sharing his views on a new Constitutional Instrument (C.I.) on voter registration, which has been laid before Parliament by the EC.
The Minority in Parliament has also raised concerns over plans by the EC to make Ghana Card the only source of justification to register onto the voter register.
Minority Leader, HarunaIddrisu, and MP for Tamale, at a press conference at Parliament House, in Accra, said the Ghana Card, which was a public good, was still not available to deserving Ghanaians, adding that many Ghanaians were still struggling to have access to the national ID card legitimately.
In July, the EC placed before Parliament a draft C.I titled: Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Regulations, 2021, which is expected to regulate continuous voter registration.
The C.I has been referred to the Subsidiary Legislation Committee of Parliament,which is chaired by a member of the Minority group.