The Member of Parliament for Akatsi South Constituency who doubles as the Ranking Member for the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee of Ghana’s Parliament, Hon Bernard Ahiafor has described the explanation by the Electoral Commission in its “Let the Citizen Know” Press Release as a Myopic and devoid of intellectual insight.
Hon Ahiafor commented during a radio interview where he categorically called out the Electoral Commission to live up to its constitutional mandate.
According to him, no law limits the Commission to conduct the registration exercise only at the District offices, stressing that, “When the Chairperson is saying that Hon Haruna called that he needed an extension for the continuous registration, was the Current Law amended”?.
Lawyer Ahiafor, asks the commission to stop blame-shifting and avoid the lazy approach to disenfranchise citizens by limiting the registration centers to only District offices.
He said, the new Constitutional Instrument (C. I) that was brought before parliament is basically about the amendment to the existing Constitutional Instrument (C.I 91) which sought to use only the Ghana Card as the sole document for citizen identification for voter registration.
Mr. Ahiafor it was parliament that rejected the proposed amendment to the C. I 91, which he does not seem to be a logical position stacked to by the EC, emphasizing that, “If the guarantee system is what was used to get a Ghana Card, why will the EC now seek to deny the same guarantee system for the voter’s ID cards when the primary document that the EC is seeking to use was giving birth to by guarantee system”?
“Clearly and absolutely, so long as the CI proposed is entrenched on amending the regulation One of the existing CI which seeks to use the Ghana Card as the sole document for the new voter registration, together with Minority, we shall oppose with our might and strength, we shall resist the oppressors’ rule which seeks to infringe on the constitutional right of Ghanaians,” the Ranking of the Constitutional, Legal, and Parliamentary Affairs Committee added.
He said, that when the Chairperson, Mrs Jean Mensah was at IEA, her criticism was against the limit of registration at the District offices, but that position has suddenly changed as she is the chair of the Commission.
Touching on the widespread challenges of the ongoing limited voter registration exercises, the Akatsi South lawmaker said his constituents are going through worse forms of accessing the District EC office, as transportation to the District office remained a big challenge.
On the issue of the EC’s blame of Parliament if the New C. I had passed, the continuous registration could have been for a period of six months, Hon Ahiafor said that statement is of much interest as how a lecture in metaphysics would give to a newborn baby.
He said the EC is engaging in intellectual dishonesty since there is nothing in the current law that imposes a limitation on the constitutional right of the EC.
The MP said there is also no regulation in the proposed New C. I that can only enable the E.C. to do registration exercises for days, weeks, or months and urged the EC to stop throwing dust into the eyes of Ghanaians and also desist from press conferences full of factual inaccuracies.
“Let the Jean Mensah-chaired Electoral Commission stop blaming the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana and perform the constitutional mandate diligently as by law required in the paramount interest of Ghanaians,” he added.
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