New register: Exclusion of voters’ ID card not a ‘big deal’ – MP

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Member of Parliament for the Sekondi Constituency, Andrew Mercer believes criticisms against the Electoral Commission’s move to make the Ghana Card and Passports the only forms of identification for registration onto the yet to be compiled new voters’ register is unfounded.

The EC has come under intense criticism following its decision to present the Public Election (Amendment) regulation, 2020 (C.I. 126) to Parliament to amend C.I 91 in order to change the identification requirements passed in 2016.

Mr. Mercer on Citi TV/FM’s The Big Issue said the proposed amendment was not problematic as being suggested.

He further stated that the compilation of a new register is not a new exercise that should merit intense criticism from various groups and individuals.

“Is it the first time we have had a new register in the country? We have compiled lists of Ghanaians who are eligible to contest elections not once, not twice, not thrice. Four times. What is the big deal? Why the threat of violence and mayhem?”

“In any event, prior to us issuing our first voter ID cards, we did not have IDs but we registered. At the time, less than 1.5 million people had passports in the country but we registered. Did hell break loose then? So what is the big deal if the Electoral Commission in their wisdom decides to exclude the Voters ID cards just so they can produce a new document?” he asked.

Mr. Mercer also wondered why the Minority side in Parliament had suddenly backtracked on its support of the amendment to make Ghana Card and Passports the only forms of identification.

“Read the Hansard and look at the contributions of Inusah Fuseini, Mahama Ayariga and Armah Kofi Buah in support of the amendment to take out the voter ID card and NHIS card. NDC members of Parliament were vociferous in their support because it made sense.”

His comment follows Member of Parliament for Bawku, Mahama Ayariga’s call for rejection of the Electoral Commission’s move to make the Ghana Card and Passports the only forms of identification before one could be registered onto to the yet to compiled new voters’ register.

Mahama Ayariga is pushing for Parliament to reject the EC’s request for such amendments to be made to the laws governing elections in Ghana.

The EC has presented the Public Election (Amendment) regulation, 2020 (C.I. 126) to Parliament to amend C.I 91 in order to change the identification requirements passed in 2016.

According to a Notice of Motion filed by Mr. Ayariga, and sighted by Citi News, the Bawku Central legislator wants Parliament to reject “the Public Election (Registration of Voters) (Amendments) Regulations 2020 (C.I. 126) pursuant to Article 11 (7) (c) of the Constitution of Ghana 1992.”

Source: Citi News

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