Be transparent to prevent unnecessary suspicion – Rawlings tells EC

Former President Flt. Lt. (RTD) Jerry John Rawlings has urged the Electoral Commission (EC) to be transparent in all its processes to ensure the country observe a peaceful elections later this year.

He said the electoral management body has a duty to ensure that all stakeholders –political parties– are satisfied ahead of the polls.

The founder of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) made this clarion call at a virtual durbar to commemorate the ocassion of the June 4 uprising.

At the event which marked the 41st anniversary of the uprising, Mr Rawlings stated that the EC must exercise it’s duties “to prevent unnecessary suspicion and promote a peaceful elections” stressing that the EC must ensure processes leading to the elections must be transparent and inclusive.

The former Head of State’s advise is very significant because there is a heated argument within the political space of the country as to whether or not the EC is right to throw away the current voters’ register for a new one.

Mr Rawlings’ party– the NDC is against the new register and contesting the EC’s  decision in court.

But the EC led by Jean Mensa has insisted the new electoral role is a must. The institution has sent a new Constitutional Instrument (CI) to Parliament for approval.

The CI will render null and void the old voters’ID card and birth certificate as an identification requirement for Ghanaians to access the new voter’s ID card.

When accepted by the law-making chamber, persons with ID cards issued by the National Identification Authority (NIA) and those with passports or two guarantors who have gone through the registration process are those who can have the new voters’ ID card.

Some political parties and civil society groups have kicked against the process  and exercise entirely, while some warn that the Coronavirus cases in the country can escalate when the EC goes ahead to compile the electoral roll.

But Mr Rawlings believe the suspicion among Ghanaians has heightened and could escalate into chaos when most people are disenfranchised.

The John Mahama-led  NDC lament that most citizens without the Ghana card and passports would be disenfranchised in their strongholds under the guise of challenging them.

The claim that most persons of voting age would be disenfranchised in the process has been passionately disputed by the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), who have giving their blessings to the EC for the new voters’register.

However, Mr Jerry Rawlings has called for an all inclusive discussion around the exercise which is being piloted all the regional capitals.

He further admonished the EC to ensure that those eligible to vote must not be prevented under no circumstance.


By Henryson Okrah/myxyzonline.com

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