Electoral Commission expresses concern about boycott of IPAC meetings by NDC

Electoral Commission
Dr. Bossman Asare.

Deputy Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr. Bossman Asare, says the Commission is sometimes concerned when a major political party like the National Democratic Congress (NDC), boycotts Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC), meetings where major decisions are taken.

He said the Commission is not worried when that happens because it works within the confines of the law. It, however, becomes problematic when a major stakeholder like the NDC boycotts its meetings.

Speaking on GBC’s Current Affairs Programme ‘FOCUS’ on the use of the Ghana Card as the sole document for registration, Dr. Bossman said the NDC boycotted Inter-Party Advisory Committee meetings on five occasions before the decision was taken by the 11 parties present.

On the use of the Ghana Card as the sole document for registration on the electoral roll, Dr. Bossman said the EC wants to fade out the guarantor system. He said the use of the Ghana Card would also reduce the number of conflicts at registration centres. Dr. Asare noted that current figures from the National Identification Authority (NIA), show that it has registered about 17 million Ghanaians, and within the next two years, more will be added.

Ranking Member on the Subsidiary Legislation Committee, Andy Appiah-Kubi said currently there is no Constitutional Instrument before the Committee from the EC on the use of the Card for registration on the Electoral Roll. He explained that there was a pre-laying conference of the C.1 and certain concerns were raised and a report was supposed to be presented but that report has not been presented hence there is no C.1 before the Committee.

A constitutional lawyer and former MP for Tamale Central, Inusah Fuseini, said the posturing of the EC when it comes to decision-making is problematic. Responding to the Deputy Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Mr. Fuseini said it is fundamentally wrong for Dr. Bossman Asare to say he does not see parliament rejecting the proposed C. 1. That, he said, undermines the authority of Parliament. He said Ghana has not gotten to a point where the Ghana Card can be used as the exclusive document to get enrolled onto the electoral register.

A Governance Analyst, Dr. Bernadette Hoffman, said if since 2017 the NIA has not been able to register 20 million Ghanaians, then there is no need for the EC to rush to use the Ghana Card as the sole document for registration onto the voters’ register.

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