The National Democratic Congress (NDC) will be pushing for deeper reforms in the activities and operations of the Electoral Commission (EC) consistent with article 45 of the Constitution, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, Minority Leader in Parliament has announced.
He said: “One of the reforms the NDC will be pushing and seeking for is that, any Ghanaian, who attains the age of 18, must have the natural right to walk to any office of the EC to be able to register”.
Mr Iddrisu, who is also Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale South Constituency, announced this when interacting with journalists in Tamale on Sunday after witnessing a large number of prospective registrants, who gathered at the Tamale Metropolitan Office of the EC to be registered as part of the limited voters’ registration exercise, which ended on July 07.
Many of the prospective registrants said they visited the registration centre on several occasions but could not be registered because of the large number of people, who turned up each day to be registered.
Mr Iddrisu emphasised that, “the right to vote and the right to register to vote are critical to the sustenance and survival of our democratic practice. Its denial can be fatal to the country’s Constitutional process”.
He said the NDC’s decision to push for deeper reforms in the activities and operations of the EC, was on the basis and principle that “A credible voter register is a sine qua non to the conduct of free, fair and credible elections”.
He was not happy that many of the prospective registrants would not have the opportunity to register saying, “As you see, many of the young lads here, may be denied the right to vote and be voted for on the basis of the inefficiencies of the EC and their poor judgment in the exercise that has been ongoing for some days now”.
Mr Iddrisu spoke about the data system of the EC reiterating that, “the data system of the EC is not in a good state and therefore, they need to consider rebuilding their data centre. When you get registration largely offline as we are seeing and when they themselves promised online, it means that daily, they must input the offline registration into the national data system”.
“I am not sure that is being done and that is also another wrong. It means that they are not building a credible system and the NDC is worried about it.”
He also spoke about the impending NDC Parliamentary Primaries expressing the need for the party to focus more on the orphan constituencies saying, “That we should declare the battle ground for the elections while we seek to retain all the 106 MPs”.
He was hopeful that many of the constituencies would retain their sitting NDC MPs, “So that we can take advantage of their experiences and to grow a few of them to make Parliament stronger, and more transparent and accountable as an institution”.
He hinted of his intention to constitute a team in the region to be chaired by Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, MP for Tamale Central, “To see how we can work towards the achievement of the retention strategy”.