The nationwide Voters Registration exercise undertaken by Ghana's Electoral Commission (EC) officially ended on Thursday, August 6. However, a mop-up exercise was scheduled to be done on August 8th and 9th 2020 and is accordingly underway. The exercise is reported to have started on June 30 and was conducted in six phases in about 33,000 registration centres. It was however met with much criticisms from political parties and other Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). These objections were mostly about the Covid-19 environment of conducting such an exercise, lack of data to prove the over-bloatedness of the old register and lack of finance and logistics.
On 8th August, 2020 Samson Lardi hosted a panel on Joy News' Newsfile. The panel had respected personalities in the persons of Bright Simons, the Vice president of IMANI, Dr. Emmanuel Akwetey, the Executive Director of the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) and Dr. Serebour Quaicoe, the Director of Electoral Services of the Electoral Commission (EC). The topic for discussion was on the just ended voter registration exercise: The Good, the bad and the unrepeatable?
IMANI Centre for Policy and Education, headed by Franklin Cudjoe and Bright Simons is one popular organization noted for its consistent objection to the new voter registration exercise. Presented with this opportunity on Newsfile on Joy news, Bright Simons talked about the issue of the military and busing of persons to various registration centres.
Bright Simons was of the view that the release of the military at registration centres was completely unneeded stressing that the Police was the right security agency to ensure order in such circumstances. The IMANI vice president went on to also state that on the issue of busing, there is no law that prevents the busing of people. For those in rural areas, it was okay to lend a helping hand to bus them especially where the centres are far. "There is nothing wrong with that. However, in the cities, it may raise suspicion and it is for the police to investigate not the military."
On the issue of his assessment of the EC's work, Bright Simons stated that the Jean Mensa led EC is the most insensitive EC in Ghana's history because it did not listen to the concerns of the people, doctors, security analysts and even CSOs such as IMANI and CDD Ghana. "They had no respect for the protocols they even set out for themselves. We went to various places in Accra and witnessed deliberate overcrowding at these centres. We have videos of other practices which we will release or publish next-week. Everywhere we went, the guarantee process was very shambolic!" Bright Simons fired. He went on to state that the EC's exercise is the most divisive exercise ever held in Ghana but they, the EC is rather engaging in what he called "triumphalism".
Bright Simons advised the EC to embark on wide range reconciliation exercise with the major opposition parties and some sections of our society. "There should be a proper dialogue." he emphasised
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