Vice President of IMANI Africa, Kofi Bentil.
A Senior Vice President of IMANI-Africa, Kofi Bentil, says that the National Identification Authority (NIA) has the capability to register every Ghanaian for the Ghana Card.
According to him, the NIA has the essential resources needed to aid the registration process and said they should not have any trouble issuing identification cards.
“I have no doubt that the NIA is capable of registering every person that they have to register in Ghana. Issuing ID cards shouldn’t be that difficult, and the NIA particularly has had hundreds of millions of dollars to do that work. So for me, it is doable. I’m happy they said they can do it,” he said.
Speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile on Saturday, he stressed that it was necessary for the clarification to be made that the NIA must register anyone that is eligible to be registered to vote.
Mr Bentil added, “there must be that connection between the Ghana Card and the EC, such that effectively we will have continuous registration because the persons who will turn eighteen one week before the elections are due and they are valid voters.”
He told the host, Samson Lardy Anyenini, that the Electoral Commission (EC) must be able to develop a system that makes it possible for any Ghanaian who turns 18 years even a week before the election – to be able to participate in the voting process.
The legal practitioner added that he considered the law of the EC, which stated that citizens cannot register to participate in the voting process 90 days before the election, unconstitutional.
Mr Bentil explained that the aforementioned law was viable when the nation did not have the means to determine whether an individual is 18 years old or not.
He emphasised that the Ghana Card solves the issue he raised, and added that, if we want to progress as a nation, “we should have an arrangement where if you have a Ghana Card, you really don’t need to re-register for an election.”
Mr Bentil’s comment follows the newly proposed Constitutional Instrument (CI) to Parliament.
The said CI, the Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Instrument, 2022 seeks to make the Ghana Card the sole document for the registration of voters onto Ghana’s electoral roll.
Although the Chairperson of the EC, Jean Mensa appeared before Parliament on February 28 to make clarifications on the CI, the EC is having difficulties trying to garner the support of the House to implement the CI.
The Minority Caucus has since opposed the implementation of the proposed CI and said implementing it would disenfranchise Ghanaians.
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