The Coalition of Domestic Election Observes (CODEO) has called on the Electoral Commission (EC) to develop a system for the continuous registration exercise.
In a live Twitter interaction with Ghana Decides on Tuesday May 17, Mr Arhin of CODEO said if the EC wants to get university students and other new voters registered, then it must act now.
About 80 percent of registrable student population in the University of Ghana were unable to register at the end of the limited registration exercise on May 7, according to the Student Representative Council of the university.
Several groups including the Institute of Economic Affairs and the opposition New Patriotic Party have called for the extension of the exercise to enable more people register.
But the EC said it will not extend the exercise arguing that its target has been met.
“If you look at analysis by the statistical service, we were trying to achieve a target of 1.2 million that is the register-able population. Fortunately at the end of the exercise, the figures that we had from the three regions indicate that we have 1, 105,686 which represents about 92 percent so our targets have really been achieved,” the Director of Electoral Services at the Commission, Samuel Tetteh said.
Mr. Tetteh admitted that some of the calls may be justified but argued that the EC’s ‘tight’ schedule makes extending the process untenable.
“Their calls may be very genuine but we have to look at it from this angle. Let us look at how many people that we actually targeted and how many who have registered. Secondly, we also have to look at it in the sense that we have a very tight timetable which we have to do exhibition. We also have to work on the registers. We are running a very tight timetable which if we are not careful we may be behind time.”
CODEO backed EC’s position not to extend the exercise, instead, it charged the commission to speed up the implementation of the all-year-continuous registration of eligible voters.
Speaking on on the limited registration exercise, Mr Arhin asked the EC to resolve issues concerning the voters register quickly.
His comments were premised on the fact that the Supreme Court had ordered the EC to remove the names of minors, dead people and people who registered with National Health Insurance cards from the electoral roll.
On minors, he noted that it was going to be hard for the EC to remove the names of minors from the voters’ register.
In order to have a credible register, he urged the EC to partner all stakeholders to clean the register.
Touching on the Representation of the People’s Amendment Law (ROPAL), he said “I don’t think the EC is ready to roll out anything concerning ROPAL in the election.”
ROPAL allows Ghanaians living in abroad to exercise their franchise in general elections conducted in Ghana.
Mr Arhin noted that there is tension in the country, urging Ghanaians not to inflame passions.
He added that “We need to guard against any conflict that will endanger this country.”
According to him, CODEO facilitate election conflict resolution by way of advocacy.
By: Abu Mubarik/ghanadecides.com