The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Jean Mensa has justified the proposal to use the Ghana Card as the sole means of identification to register as a voter.
According to her, the EC does not believe that using the Ghana Card to prove one’s eligibility will disenfranchise people.
She contended that rather, the “use of the Ghana Card as the sole means of identification will prevent foreigners and minors from getting onto our voters register.”
She made these remarks while briefing Parliament on the proposed Constitutional Instrument on Tuesday.
She added that it will also prevent unqualified persons from influencing elections in the country, thus “having a say on who should govern our country.”
“This is an issue that borders on our sovereignty in our nation. Simply put, only eligible Ghanaians must be entitled to vote,” she added.
In a related development, Mrs. Mensa emphasised the major challenges of the guarantor system, saying, “the guarantor system opened the door for registered voters or guarantor contractors to guarantee and vouch for persons who are less than 18 years old.”
“Secondly it allows these guarantors to vouch for persons who are not citizens of Ghana. Such unqualified persons usually, minors and foreigners use the door of the guarantor to try to get onto our register,” she said.
Mrs. Mensa stated that the Electoral Commission is determined to ensure electoral transparency leading to the formation of a committee.
According to her, approximately 40,000 unqualified voters were expunged.
“It’s important to note that to rid the register of minors and foreigners in the year 2020, we established the district registration review committees…we were able to expunge close to 40, 000 minors and foreigners from the register,” she added.
She, therefore, urged Parliament to support the EC’s effort in preventing foreigners and minors from getting onto the electoral roll.
Mrs. Jean Mensa went on to say that “by using the Ghana Card as the main source of documentation for the continuous registration, the Electoral Commission will be conforming to the legislative instrument passed by Parliament, namely; the National Identity Register Regulation 2011 – legislative instrument 2111.”
Meanwhile, last week in Parliament, the Minority Caucus opposed the use of the Ghana Card as a sole document for registration as a voter.
Former Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu said the Electoral Commission has sinned against the Constitution by not holding limited registration exercises since 2021.
According to him, this has disallowed some citizens who have come of age, the opportunity to enroll as voters.
This situation, he noted, is unacceptable to a country committed to multiparty constitutional democracy.
“Mr Speaker, for the record – 2021, 2022, 2023, Ghanaians who have attained the age of 18 years have been denied the opportunity to be captured as registered voters. This is a constitutional wrong,” he said.
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