Many Ghanaians in parts of the country have been seen to be actively participating in the registration exercise, irrespective of what some opposition parties had preached earlier on to prevent the registration from taking place. There are good reasons why every eligible Ghanaian must actively participate in the exercise. One reason is to ensure that all citizens, who qualify to vote in the country, have been given space to operate as such to show non-Ghanaians that it is only citizens of this country who qualified to vote in any election. It is for this reason any citizen does not register, then that person is giving away part of his/her inalienable right. In addition to this, registration of voters for any election helps the election management body to scrutinise the process and help to sanitise it to ensure that the election is carried out freely in a transparent manner.
When elections are free and fair, they help the electorate to accept the outcome of the results. If compilation of a voters register is not done in a peaceful manner, it can lead to chaos or disorder in the country. Another reason why participation in the voters registration is good and necessary is that, it will give the Electorate the opportunity to make free decisions regarding those who should go to Parliament as well as who should occupy the highest seat of the land, the Presidency. Helping voters to make a decision in this way prevents mistrust, chaos and also possible inaction in our national politics.
Again, it is important to note that the constitution of the country has not provided any room for what happens after January 7, 2021 when the mandate of the current president comes to an end. With the mandate of the current president coming to an end on January 7, a constitutional crisis will be created as to who should govern this country from January 7 next year. Such a constitutional vacuum could lead to all sorts of chaotic situations in the country. No political group will be in charge of governance in this country, a situation that can lead to total disorder and chaos in the years ahead. Is this what the country wants to experience after January 7 next year?
If we want to prevent such chaotic situations, then Ghanaians have no choice but to actively participate in the ongoing registration exercise so as to ensure a peaceful constitutional order after January 7, next year. The people of this country are peaceful by nature and are therefore prepared to give room for a constitutional order that will protect everyone and guarantee the democratic interests of all Ghanaians. It is equally important for us to know that the compilation of the voters register will guarantee a peaceful outcome with regards to who wins the election and who loses. The winner will have the mandate to rule the country in a constitutional manner with the support of all elected Parliamentarians and other institutions of state. In the same way, those who lose the elections after the voters registration are also likely to accept the outcome of the results unless they deliberately want to create problems for the country.
Ghana has come a long way since independence and so its achievements must be protected by everyone in the country. These achievements are what will make the country great and strong in the eyes of the international community. It is for this reason that our democratic credentials will have to be jealously guarded this year and in the years ahead.
By Dr Kofi Amponsah- Bediako, Director of Corporate Communications, Ghana Standards Authority.