Good morning, our friends from the media.
The NDC Minority in Parliament is pleased to welcome you to
this very urgent press engagement.
We are quite sure many of you followed and reported on events
in the Chamber last night, which showcased our opposition to an
attempt by the Jean Mensah-led Electoral Commission to
introduce a Constitutional Instrument before Parliament. The said
C.I, the Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Instrument,
, seeks to make the Ghana Card the sole document for the
registration of voters onto Ghana’s electoral roll.
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Many of you may not be aware of the reasons for our opposition
to this proposed C.I. It is against this backdrop that we have
assembled you here in what we consider as a national emergency,
to state our reasons for our stated opposition to the proposed C.I.
1. The Ghana Card and Registration of Voters
Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution guarantees the right to vote by
stating that:
“Every citizen of Ghana of eighteen years or above and of sound
mind has the right to vote and is entitled to be registered as a
voter for the purposes of public elections and referenda.”
Distinguished friends from the media, what the Electoral
Commission’s proposed C.I seeks to do however is to restrict the
realization of this right of Ghanaians, as Regulation 1 (3) of the
proposed C.I states:
“A person who applies for registration as a voter shall provide
as evidence of identification the National Identification Card
issued by the National Identification Authority”.

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What Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution requires, is evidence of
citizenship and not evidence or proof of identification. Any
evidence of citizenship should therefore qualify a person to be
registered. That is why under the current C.I 91 as amended by
C.I 126, Ghanaian Passports and guarantor system are allowed as
evidence of citizenship.
Clearly, the proposed C.I which makes the Ghana Card the sole
requirement for voter registration serves as a restraint on citizen’s
right to register and exercise their franchise in elections.
It is important to remind the Electoral Commission headed by
Madam Jean Mensah that the Commission is enjoined by the
constitution to advance the right to vote and not introduce any law
that seeks to curtail same.
Indeed, under Article 45(e) of the Constitution, the Electoral
Commission is to: “undertake programmes for the expansion of
the registration of voters”
. Instead, the EC rather seeks to
undertake a programme for the restriction of the registration of


Ladies and gentlemen, the National Identification Authority
(NIA), which is responsible for the issuance of the Ghana Card
has admitted that there is a backlog of millions of Ghanaians who
are yet to be issued the Ghana Card.
The NIA has admitted that about 3.5 million Cards have been
locked up in bonded warehouses due to its indebtedness of about
GHS 1.5 billion ($117m) to the private partner of the NIA, which
has contracted loans from banks to undertake the printing of these
Speaking on Newsfile on Joy FM last Saturday, 25th February,
2023, the Executive Director of the NIA, Prof. Kenneth
Agyemang Attafuah said:
“Since about August of last year, we have experienced financial
constraints in the system and it created a situation where even
though we have 3.5 million stock of cards in a bonded
warehouse, we are unable to access the cards because of
financial difficulty”.

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He proceeded to say that: “currently, about 2.5 million cards are
yet to be printed”.
Ladies and Gentlemen, these are not the words
of the Minority.
It is also a fact, that the registration process for the Ghana Card
has been characterized by several difficulties,including logistical
The National Identification authority has further admitted that the
issuance of the Ghana Card is a continuing process and therefore
cannot be completed at any point in time. Therefore, making the
Ghana Card the sole requirement for voter registration cannot be
accepted as it will deny millions of Ghanaians their right to
register and vote.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Chairperson of the Electoral
Commission herself, Mrs. Jean Mensa, in the Daily Graphic of
Tuesday, September 13, 2022, front page, is reported to have
admonished the National Identification Authority (NIA) to “make
Ghana Card acquisition process faster”,
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This is a clear admission that there are problems with the issuance
of the Ghana Card which the Electoral Commission wants to use
as the sole proof of citizenship.
As we speak, millions of eligible Ghanaian voters do not have the
Ghana Card and therefore stand the risk of being completely
disenfranchised. This group of Ghanaians can be placed into three
(3) groups:
1. There are those who have registered for the Ghana Card but
have not been issued with cards. The number of people in
this category stands at a staggering Six hundred and FortyFive thousand, Six hundred and sixty-three (645, 663).
There are those who registered for the Ghana Card, but have
unfortunately misplaced their cards and proceeded to do
another registration, which registrations are on hold. This
category of people accounts for thousands of Ghanaians as
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3. Thirdly, there are a huge 2.5 million Ghanaians who have
not been able to register for the Ghana Card at all.
Any attempt by the Electoral Commission to insist on the Ghana
Card as the sole identity document for the registration of voters
will therefore deprive the vast majority of our people of their
constitutional right to register and vote.
2. The Guarantor System
The proposed C.I seeks to completely eliminate the use of the
Guarantor System for the purpose of proving one’s eligibility to
be captured onto the voters register. This proposition we reckon,
is a deliberate plot to deprive millions of Ghanaians the
opportunity to register and have their names on the electoral roll.
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For emphasis, the Electoral Commission was pushed to provide
evidence to back the claim of so-called abuse of the guarantor
system, the EC indicated that in the 2019 voter registration for
instance, only 15,474 people, representing just 0.09% of the total
of 17,029,981
registered voters, were challenged on the basis of
the guarantor system.
This statistic is a very insignificant and immaterial percentage to
warrant a total abrogation of the guarantor system, particularly at
a time many do not have the Ghana Card.
We say this because the National Identity Register Regulations
2012 (LI 2111), make room for the guarantor system when it
comes to acquiring a Ghana Card.
It is therefore unclear to us what mischief the EC is seeking to
cure by relying solely on the Ghana Card as source document for
the registration of voters, yet intends to completely outlaw the
guarantor system which constituted about 40% of Ghana Card
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We hold the view that the time-tested guarantor system must be
maintained in our voter registration process and this position is
absolutely non-negotiable.
Common sense should tell any objective mind that a source
document for the Ghana Card must be a source document for the
Voter ID Card and vice versa.
3. EC District Offices As Registration Centres
Ladies and Gentlemen of the media, the proposed C.I provides
(1) The Commission shall designate the District Office and
any place it considers appropriate as a registration centre.
It is the view of the Minority that the above provisions of the
proposed C.I on registration centres will create a number of
avoidable problems for the electorate.
First, these provisions if allowed to be implemented, will make
voter registration extremely difficult for citizens whose residence
are miles away from the District Offices.
In such situations, the cost of travel alone can be a disincentive to
registration. In contrast, if the prevailing practice of using the
polling stations which are usually located within walking distance
of residences of voters is maintained, this problem will not arise
at all.
Secondly, registrations undertaken at the District Offices will
entail assigning polling stations to the registrants at the point of
registration, but the registrant will not know the physical location
of his or her polling station at the point of registration.
Given the high levels of illiteracy in the country, this will create
utter confusion on Election Day, as such, voters may find it
difficult locating their voting centres.
A discretion exercised in practice by the Registration Officers,
will undermine the transparency of the age-old practice of
publishing the Registration Centres in advance in the Gazette and
therefore ensuring that they are known, certain and publicly
So-called emergency and temporary registration centres must
equally be known and published at least four weeks in advance.
Thirdly, one of the major problems likely to emerge from this
provision is the possibility of gerrymandering that can be
engineered by Registration Officials.
4. Registration Supervisors and Regional Directors of the
Electoral Commission
Under the proposed C.I, there will be a district registration
supervisor and a registration centre supervisor.
Both supervisors shall report directly to the Regional Director of
the Electoral Commission, making the regional director the only
focal point of the registration in the region.
Once again, it is our view that for the purposes of accountability
and verifiability, copies of the reports sent to the Regional
Director of the Electoral Commission by the supervisors in the
district should also be sent to the respective district officers of the
Electoral Commission.
The district officers are closer to the registration proceedings in
their various districts and under the C.I. are among the “persons
who may give instructions or directives to a registration
supervisor and other registration officials.”
5. Voters Register
Ladies and Gentlemen of the media, the proposed C.I states as
(1) Each electoral area shall have a Voters Register consisting
of a voters register of each polling station in the electoral area.
(2) Each Constituency shall have a Voters Register consisting
of voter’s registers of the electoral areas within the constituency.

It is important to note that the Biometric Verification Devices
(BVD’s) that are used to identify voters at the various polling
stations do not “talk to each other” to indicate who has voted at
which polling station.
Therefore, until such a time that the BVD’s are configured to be
interactive in this way, the two Registers being used at the Polling
Station on Election Day will open the door to two kinds of
infractions, namely multiple voting and ballot stuffing.
6. Repeal of C.I 91 and C.I 126
Friends from the media, claims by the Electoral Commission that
the proposed C.I is for only continuous registration is not only
misleading but also mischievous.
Regulation 33 in the draft C.I revokes C.I 91 and C.I 126.
Therefore, by operation of law, once this proposed C.I is passed,
it will be the only law on voter registration in Ghana. The
Electoral Commission knows that it does not have separate laws
for continuous registration and limited registration or mass
7. Exclusion of the NDC from the C.I Process
Friends from the media, between November 2018 and August
2022, the Electoral Commission set up a Sub-Committee of the
Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) to discuss a draft C.I on
the Registration of Voters.
The Sub-Committee consisted of the Electoral Commission, One
(1) member each from the New Patriotic Party and the National
Democratic Congress, and Three (3) members each from political
parties without representation in Parliament and civil society
Initial meetings to which the NDC was invited did not materialise,
only for the party to be informed in August 2022 that this
proposed C.I was ready for presentation to Parliament.
In other words, the NDC had been completely excluded from the
process of preparing the C.I.
8. The Electoral Commission and National Security
As noted in Ghana’s National Security Strategy, one of the main
risks to Ghana’s peace and security “is mistrust in the electoral
The suspicion of collusion between the ruling party and the
Electoral Commission to rig elections for the ruling party
continues to drive the situation towards dispute and potential
The above admonishing is coming from the National Security in
light of the clear and present danger that the Electoral
Commission continues to pose to the peace and stability of Ghana
through actions such as this proposed Constitutional Instrument.
1. Distinguished friends from the media, the Minority Caucus will
in the coming days collaborate with the National Democratic
Congress (NDC) to hold a major forum on this subject. This will
afford us an opportunity to further explain these issues for the
understanding of the Ghanaian populace.
2. Given the critical nature of the issue at stake, and the potential of
this C.I to undermine our democracy and thereby disturb the
peace and security of our country
The Minority Group will in the coming days be engaging a broad
spectrum of stakeholders, including our Development Partners,
Faith-based Organizations, Traditional Authorities and Civil
Society Organizations to get them to appreciate the issues at stake
and the consequences this bodes for Ghana’s democracy and
We thank you for your attention. May God bless our homeland
Ghana and protect our democracy from imminent destruction.

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