Opposition National Democratic Congress has issued a gloomy picture ahead of the 2020 elections warning that the country is likely to be thrown into deep chaos.
The party explained that they will do all they can to resist any form of malpractices and show of bias towards them by the Electoral Commission.
The party’s position comes on the back of what they insist is the abysmal performance of the EC during the just ended referenda where allegations of widespread malpractices were reported.
In a media interaction on Thursday, Deputy General Secretary of the largest opposition party, Peter Otukonor accused the Electoral Commissioners of doing the bidding of the President and government of the day.
This he noted will receive stiff opposition from the NDC and may result in anarchy the country may never recover from.
The Deputy General Secretary said, “The abysmal and fraudulent conduct of the referenda clearly vindicates our position. This represents a clear and present danger for the future of this country, especially as the 2020 elections approach. The non-partisan nature of the referenda and the convergence of interests in the creation of the regions may have limited and tampered the response of various stakeholders to the manipulation and fraud by EC officials.”
The statement stressed, “It goes without mention, that if such incidents were to be repeated in the 2020 polls, it would result in total chaos and anarchy from which our country may not recover, given the very high stakes that would be at play”
“We wish to make clear and draw the attention of all concerned, including those in the diplomatic community and our development partners, that we in the NDC will not allow or permit the manipulation of the processes leading to the 2020 elections” he added.
The press conference was also used as a medium to address the issues regarding the Ghana Card and the 2020 elections.
The NDC believes it is a way of disenfranchising Ghanaians especially people within the NDC strongholds to ensure smooth victory for President Akufo-Addo in the 2020 polls.
They questioned the rationale behind the refusal of EC to accept Voters’ ID Card and other national IDs for the registration for Ghana Card that is currently being accepted used even by the EC.
The party made known their plans to kick against any new voter register that will be put together ahead of the 2020 polls using the Ghana Card.
“We wish to serve notice to Jean Mensah and her lieutenants especially Dr. Bossman Asare at the Electoral Commission; that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) will not accept any new electoral register compiled based on the Ghana Card which excludes voter ID cards as a means of identification or registration” peter Otukonor told the gathering of press.
On ROPAA, the NDC accused Akufo-Addo government of scheming to organise the votes at NPP dominated countries to disadvantage other parties.
Addressing the media on Thursday, Deputy General Secretary of the Party detailed “As far as the NDC is concerned, if ever ROPAA is implemented, it should be on an ‘everywhere or nowhere’ principle. In other words, every Ghanaian living everywhere on earth must be afforded the opportunity to vote in the national elections.”
Below is the full press statement read by the Deputy General Secretary of the NDC
STATEMENT ON THE CONDUCT OF REFERENDA ON THE CREATION OF SIX NEW REGIONS AND MATTERS ARISING: DELIVERED BY COMRADE PETER BOAMAH OTOKUNOR, DEPUTY GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE NDC ON BEHALF OF COMRADE JOHNSON ASIEDU NKETIAH, THE GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE NDC.
READ ON THURSDSAY, 3RD JANUARY, 2019 AT INTERNATIONAL PRESS CENTRE
Ladies and Gentlemen of the press, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Representatives of Civil Society Groups, On behalf of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), I extend to you New Year greetings. It is our hope that we will in the coming years deepen our bonds of cooperation for the good of Ghana.
The purpose of this press conference is to share with you some concerns over the conduct of the just-ended referenda on the creation of six new regions, some of which are already in the public domain.
Let me state from the onset that in the NDC 2016 manifesto, we made a pledge to create five additional regions as part of our commitment to ensuring equitable development of all parts of the country. Though the NDC was denied the people’s mandate, we persisted in the commitment by making available a trove of our party’s resources to support the referenda.
Be that as it may, we respect the central principle which guided the need for the referenda.
We congratulate all our brothers and sisters from the Oti, North East, Savannah, Ahafo, Bono East and Western North regions on attaining regional status. We urge government to prioritize the needs of the newly created regions to give practical meaning to the outcome of the referenda
Ladies and gentlemen.
Had we won the 2016 elections, we would have taken the necessary steps towards achieving that objective of creating the five regions as indicated in our manifesto. We would have done so in full compliance with the law and with fairness and transparency as the guiding principles.
We believe earnestly that the processes leading up to such an exercise must comply with acceptable standards and referenda held for that purpose, must also be in conformity with democratic and legal tenets.
In this respect, we have been extremely alarmed at the brazen violation of our electoral laws and the general vandalization of due process and the principle of fairness that should govern the conduct of any credible election.
We have been particularly shocked at the level of incompetence and dereliction of duty exhibited by the Electoral Commission under the leadership of Jean Mensah in the conduct of the just ended referenda. Compelling evidence has emerged showing clear electoral malpractices and shocking abuse of the process with the active participation and involvement of Election officials.
Many Ghanaians have seen the viral video footage showing multiple voting by Electoral Commission officials themselves and others obviously recruited for the purpose. It is unthinkable that persons in whom we have reposed our trust and confidence-the very stewards of our democracy- would act in ways that bring the whole exercise into disrepute and undermine the public trust in the electoral process.
In addition to the video footage and several reports of wrongdoing by the EC during the conduct of the polls, we have noted a report by the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) in which they highlight grave violations of our electoral laws.