The Electoral Commission of Ghana’s (EC) reasons for the new CI, which aims to make the Ghana card the only form of identity for voter registration, have been denied by the minority in parliament.
On Tuesday, February 28, 2023, EC Chairperson Jean Mensah informed Lawmakers that the new CI’s goal is to protect the integrity of elections free from outside influence.
Mrs. Jean Mensah provided additional justification for abolishing the guarantee scheme.
When asked if the Ghana card registration system used the same method, the EC chief claimed it was a more reliable system.
Speaking to the media, Minority Leader Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson requested that the Commission implement the NIA method in response to the chairperson’s assertion.
“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, 2022, seeks to make the Ghana Card the sole document for the registration of voters onto Ghana’s electoral roll.
“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,” Minority Leader said.
“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” Ato Forson added.
Dr. Dominic Ayine, the chairman of the subsidiary legislation committee, contended that the current CI used for the 2020 registration is still very effective and that no new one is required.
Mahama Ayariga, a member of parliament for Bawku Central, chastised party leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu for claiming that no one could prevent government work, like the laying of the CI, from happening.
He questioned the transition of EC commerce into government activity.
Isaac Adongo, a member of parliament for Bolgatanga Central, requested that the EC hold off on proposing a new CI until all eligible Ghanaians had received cards from the NIA.