The flag bearer of the opposition NDC in the last election Mr. John Mahama has once again tackled the Jean Mensah lead Electoral Commission. In his latest public statement, Mr. Mahama said the NDC cannot trust the current electoral commission on its words due to past experience.
His statement came at the backdrop of the EC's denial of plans to compile a new register for election 2024. John Mahama said he noticed the minority stated recently that their intel had it that the EC was planning to compile a new register for 2024. But the commission quickly denied the allegation. According to the former president, such a denial from the commission under the previous leadership would had ended the matter. Unfortunately, the Jean Mensah lead commission is known to have walked back on similar commitments hence NDC will treat the denial as another deception. He vowed to continue to keep the EC on its toes to ensure the right things are done.
Below are extracts of the statement Mr. Mahama gave at a workshop with the minority in Ho.
"The style of this administration has been to subjugate and dominate these institutions for parochial and partisan gain. These institutions have thus become pliant tools for the furtherance of the political ends of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and President Akufo-Addo.
One such institution is the Electoral Commission, which instead of making it easy for our citizens to take part in elections, rather takes delight in making it difficult. They appear determined to ensure the disenfranchisement of sections of our population at all costs through a misguided insistence on the use of the Ghana card as the only source of identification for a voter card.
How do you do this, knowing that the Ghana Card is not available to everyone who should have one?
The Ghana Card is a relatively new feature of our national life and has its merits in the scheme of things. At the moment, it is being brandished more as a political tool around which all manner of schemes is being fashioned towards elections.
There is the need to allow sufficient time for its full integration into our way of life before this kind of unhelpful exclusion of all other legitimately acquired, credible and time-tested forms of identification is implemented.
The National Identification Authority cannot claim to have covered every Ghanaian who should be registered or distributed all the cards printed to those who have been captured in their system. They have failed to distribute hundreds of thousands of cards to people who have registered.
Until full and total coverage is achieved in the roll out of the Ghana Card, room must be made for those who are yet to be served, to exercise their democratic rights of voting. They cannot be excluded from the voter register due to no fault of theirs.
This should be clear and quite easy to appreciate.
The haste on the part of the Electoral Commission to exclude all other means of identification is therefore clearly indecent and informed by an ulterior objective. Last week, you in the Minority raised red flags over suspected attempts to compile a new register on the sole basis of the Ghana Card. The Electoral Commission has been quick to deny that it harboursany such intentions.
Until the advent of the current leadership of the Commission, this denial would have marked the end of the matter. The Commission in its present guise is known to have walked back on similar commitments in the recent past and so we in the NDC will maintain eternal vigilance to ensure that no such thing happens.
The process of continuous registration as canvassed by the Electoral Commission must necessarily include a system that enables all political parties and relevant stakeholders to possess the capacity to monitor same in real time, to avoid fraud and exploitation to the undue advantage of any party.
We in the NDC will insist on this."
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