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Don’t stress Ghanaians – GFL urges Electoral Commission

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The Ghana Federation of Labour, GFL, has reiterated its displeasure at the entrenched position of the Electoral Commission (EC) considering the timing for the compilation of a new voters’ register for the December 2020 polls.

The leadership of the Federation is unhappy saying the Country may not be a safe place, should the EC continue with its decision, despite the many divergent views.

He said it will be unfair for the EC to demand that Ghanaians go through the stress to queue and register again for the compilation of a new register when their biometric data on the current register did not have an expiration date.

The Secretary-General of the GFL, Abraham Koomson, made this known at an Executive Board Meeting of the GFL in Tema.

The meeting was on the theme: “Controversy over the timing and re-registration of voters-Imminent Civil Disobedience.”

Since the announcement of the new voters’ register, several debates have risen with the issue of contention being the timing for the compilation for the December polls.

Latest to join the debate is the Ghana Federation of Labour, which is unhappy following the increasing tension that is likely to trigger chaos; and will largely affect the Country’s labour force.

To this end, the GFL says the new register will not be necessary now considering the limited time available.

The Secretary-General of the Ghana Federation of Labour, Abraham Koomson said the disturbing situation is that whenever there is any civil disturbance, the rule of law breaks down; therefore the time is now for all to stand up for the right things to be done.

He said the situation will put Ghanaians in so much stress; and questioned why the EC has now decided to compile a new register after assessing the use of the old register in the District Level Elections as about 99 per cent efficient.

Recounting some civil unrest in the past, Mr. Koomson said chaotic system affect unions and workers as a whole. He explained that innocent individuals are often targeted and eliminated and urged the EC not to lead the country into chaos.

He maintained that “as a Union, they are mandated by our constitution to also show interest and concern about policies”.

Addressing the board members, the Executive Director of the Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability, ASEPA, Mensah Thompson said the decision by the EC to compile a new register has not been thoroughly digested by IPAC adding that the concerns raised by the EC such as obsolete BVDs and BVRs, as well as a crushed Data Centre does not make the compilation of a new register the solution.

Mr. Thompson who was the leader of the CSOs invited by the Eminent Advisory Committee said the EC’s initial statements of not being entitled to consult anyone or take decisions has marred the working relationship among the parties.

He said “the EC has been very dismissive in handling the concerns of the political parties since the political parties are key stakeholders in the process.”

He was concerned at the EC’s ability meet the 42 days before election needed for the application for special voting as contained in the election Legislative Instrument (LI) although the EC is yet to sign the contract with Thales Digital Identifying Solution, the company that won the bid to bring into the country the machines.

According to ASEPA, even if a new register is compiled, it will come with its challenges; and this cannot be tested during the general elections.

BY: Edith Atiaka-Eshun.

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