The General Secretary of the governing NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia aka Gen. Mosquito says all political parties, including his party, must accept responsibility for a bloated voters’ register, a source of intense controversial debate.
“We are the people who create the problems and we turn to blame the Electoral Commission,” Asiedu Nketia said in an interview on Joy News channel’s current affairs programme, The Pulse.GhanaPoliticsOnline.Com
The two main political rivals have been trading acrimonious accusations of engaging in electoral irregularities in the Limited Biometric Voter Registration exercise which is expected to end on Sunday.
Registering minors and intimidating applicants are very popular accusation staple.
The governing National Democratic Congress, strong in regions along the borders like Togo and Cote D’Ivoire has also been accused of bussing in foreigners to register.
But in an admission, Asiedu Nketia told Francis Abban that the desire for an “unfair advantage” by politicians is at the heart of the political tensions in this country during elections.
He finds it hypocritical that politicians heap the blame on their rivals. He said the political parties after crying foul about the credibility of the register, turn around to register minors when presented with the opportunity.
Asiedu Nketia wants political parties to back off from pressuring the Electoral Commission.
“Most of the problems are created by political parties [because of] their desire to outwit each other”, he continued.
“That is why I always have problems when all the blame is being heaped on the Electoral commission, There is no way the EC by itself can conduct such exercise without the cooperation of political party agents”.
The General Secretary said he has been advocating for years that state institutions deal ruthlessly with electoral offenders.
He said the preferred posture of state institutions to “let sleeping dogs lie” means that politicians bent on exploiting the process are having a field day.
“If you have a situation where there is reluctance on the part of the Electoral Commission or state institutions to punish electoral offences….we will continue to have these type of problems”.
But National Youth Organiser of the New Patriotic Party, Sammy Awuku has rejected the claim of collective responsibility for electoral offences.
“We have not engaged in it and will not engage in it… We don’t do it sir,” he emphasized. He described Asiedu Nketia’s admission as a sad development.
According to Awuku, the NPP does not need votes of foreigners to win an election. The party’s push for a new voters’ register is evidence that the NPP is a clean and honest party that does not look out for unfair advantage.
He said if an NPP politician had made this admission, the state security apparatus would have arrested him.
He called for Asiedu Nketia’s arrest following his claims.
“From where he sits, he seems to know a lot about cross-border crime,” the politician said.