Creating new register could cause security problems – EC boss
The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mrs. Charlotte Osei has stated that Ghana’s security might be threatened by any move to compile a new register.
She has rather backed the surgical method proposed by the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG) to audit the alleged bloated voters’ register.
The NPP at the stakeholders forum on the voters register at Alisa Hotel on Thursday watered down arguments supporting an audit of the current voters’ register.
Former Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Peter Mac Manu who made submissions on behalf of the party said auditing the register will be very difficult because the Electoral Commission does not have residential addresses of voters on the register.
But responding to the NPP’s concerns, Mrs. Osei said undertaking a registration exercise for an entirely new register might have some security implications.
“We have also thought carefully about the social stability cost of the new register. When you have your two strongest parties[NPP and NDC] taking entrenched opposing views, you are even worried that opening new registration centres will be opening up 30,000 conflict zones because…you are going to have rigorous objections and challenges,”she said.
She therefore called on various stakeholders to work together to ensure a credible register
“There is no perfect system and we must all work together to ensure that we have a credible register…the Electoral Commission cannot ensure that Ghana has a credible register. We can change the register, we can change the electoral process but until there is reform of our political parties and our electorates in terms of how they engage in the system we will still have a register that is not credible regardless of how much money you put into the system,” she argued.
She also emphasized the need for minors and their parents whose names were found in the register to be sanctioned.
“If we sanction a few minors and their parents, it will deter others” from engaging the electoral offence, she suggested.