A group of lecturers calling themselves the Concerned University lecturers of Ghana have written to the Electoral Commission to challenge the decision to compile a new electoral roll.
According to the group, the decision, apart from being unnecessary, will cost Ghana money that could be used for more important projects such as the provision of social amenities.
The leader of the group, Prof. Anthony Mawuli Salah, who is also a lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), in an interview on Eyewitness News, said the commission’s posture is not the best.
“This issue about elections affects everybody. We have been watching with concern about the way the Electoral Commission (EC) chaired by Jean Mensa has been so intransigent and bellicose,” he said.
He said the EC cannot provide concrete justification for its decision to compile a new register, especially because the current register has been used for various elections since 2012.
He further argued that the compilation of new register will expose Ghanaians to contracting COVID-19.
“We have used this register to have 2012 election where we elected Mahama. We have used it to elect the current president with a 1.3 million vote-margin and we used the same register in 2018 for the referendum for the creation of new regions and we used it in 2019 for the district assembly elections. We are in a situation where there is COVID-19 killing people all over the world and because elections are coming we are going to line up Ghanaians to register when you have a register already?”
Responding to the EC’s comment that the current register is not credible, among other things based on the court ruling that the use of the NHIS card for registration was void, Prof. Salah said “if they knew it long ago, why did they use it for the 2016 elections?”
He said the group is considering other options to further press home their demand for the suspension of the compilation of a new register.
He stressed that while they are hoping that the law courts will make a decision against the new register, they as members of academia will explore various ways to ensure that the EC does not compile a new register.
“This is just the first step. We have other options and we are going to think of what to do [next]. The case is in court but let the judges and lawyers deal with that aspect. We in academia are also looking at it in a different way, but of course, with the same outcome that there should not be any new voters register,” he said.
EC faces opposition
The Electoral Commission (EC) is facing intense opposition over its decision to compile a new voters’ register.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has sued the Electoral Commission over the issue.