The National Democratic Congress says it is “appalled” by claims that the Electoral Commission turned down invitation by the National House of Chiefs for a dialogue ahead of the compilation of a new voter’s register.
The Commission has taken entrenched position to go ahead with the registration despite strong disagreement from some civil society groups and some opposition parties led by the NDC.
The National House of Chiefs in a statement last week said it was concerned about the growing tension in the country over the exercise, which it said would require national unity and cohesion.
“Central to the escalating tension is the decision of the electoral commission to compile a new voter’s register. Unfortunately, the EC failed to honour invitations to the national house of chiefs, when our traditional leaders wanted the opportunity to promote dialogue in the interest of peace,” the body of chiefs said.
The NDC is in court with the EC over the new voter’s register. The party’s Director of Communications Sammy Gyamfi told journalists on Monday: “We are appalled by the Jean Mensah-led EC’s refusal to honor the invitations of the National House of Chiefs”.
He reminded the EC that “Our Traditional Authorities, are key stakeholders in Ghana’s peace architecture and have contributed enormously to the peace, stability and democracy of this country.
“The refusal of the Jean Mensa-led EC to honor their invitations is highly disrespectful and an insult to the values and customs of this country, and must be condemned by all well-meaning Ghanaians.”
Easing of restrictions
Meanwhile, the NDC says the decision by President Akufo-Addo to ease restrictions that were imposed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic was to enable the EC to go on with the contentious new register.
“We are of the firm belief that this decision is mainly intended to pave way for the Jean Mensa-led EC to carry out its rigging agenda, through the execution of their needless and wasteful new voter registration agenda,” Sammy Gyamfi said.
“It is very clear, that the easing of restrictions was motivated by the President’s parochial political interest and not the interest of the nation.”
He added, “The fact that church and mosque gatherings, are not supposed to have more than 100 people in attendance, and are supposed to last for just an hour but the NIA and EC have been given the freedom to register an unlimited number of people from 7am to 5pm, that’s for a period of 10 hours, shows clearly that, the so-called partial reopening of schools, churches and Mosques was only a ruse to the President’s main agenda.”