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2024 Elections: We urge Parliament to pass new CI that backs EC to use Ghana Card – PPOP

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Mrs Jean Mensa, EC boss

Political parties without representation in Parliament have appealed to the members of the House to visit the Constitutional Instrument (CI) that backs the Electoral Commission (EC) to introduce Ghana Card as the only form of identification for the upcoming limited voter registration ahead of the 2024 elections.

The parties condemned attempts by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and other opposition parties to bastardise the Commission’s motive to conduct more fair, transparent and credible elections.

It is very interesting to note that all political parties have had the opportunity to participate in all processes leading to the drafting of the new CI and various changes that accompanied the process. It is sad that our brothers from the  NDC who abandoned their duty to participate at IPAC have taken a contrary stance on the new CI. Unfortunately, ever since this information by the EC came out, there have been a lot of allegations and even Honourable members of Parliament who can easily read this new CI joined as the source of falsity just to score cheap political points, the parties, that call themselves ‘Political Parties Outside Parliament’ (PPOP), said at a press conference in Accra.

They lambasted the opposition, saying since the inception of the 4th Republic, there have been various reforms to our electoral process which have helped us chalk several successes and our Electoral Commission of Ghana has become an  institution several countries especially within Africa have learnt from and continue to do so. 

Unfortunately, within our own Country, we continue to drag them into the mud by levelling all sorts of unfounded allegations, and suspicions that cause mistrust and go a long way not to only affect the cost of our Elections but also the credibility of it in the minds of the people.

They asked the Members of Parliament to lay the new CI so that we can carry on with the modalities in ensuring a smooth continuous registration process to enable new voters to register.

They also encouraged the media to play a critical role by checking political interest groups to conform with the norm and reality, and to do away with self-centred position that could destroy this country on the altar of winning political power.

Below is the full statement:

PRESS STATEMENT BY POLITICAL PARTIES OUTSIDE PARLIAMENT

(PPOP) ON WEDNESDAY 12TH OCTOBER 2022 AT PALOMA HOTEL

Ladies and gentlemen of the press, fellow Ghanaians, all protocol observed. 

We the Political Parties who do not currently have representation in Parliament have decided to hold this press conference to set some records straight and let well-meaning Ghanaians take informed decision and also protect our state actors whom we have always dragged into our partisan political games.  We are concerned because these actions are a threat to our democracy as well as our position on the globe which has become the standard for other Countries especially within the sub-region as one of the most peaceful countries. 

In a football game, referees do not become the centre of attention, however, they go on with their duties to ensure the rules of the game is applied. Therefore, we take this upon ourselves as Political players and a duty to our nation to expose some of these acts of sedition which has a high tendency of disrupting our peace and posing a threat to our democracy which we have nurtured for long to this stage.  

Ladies and Gentlemen, since the inception of the 4th Republic, there have been various reforms to our electoral process which have helped us chalk several successes and our Electoral Commission of Ghana has become an institution several countries especially within Africa have learnt from and continue to do so. 

Unfortunately, within our own Country, we continue to drag them into the mud by levelling all sort of unfounded allegations, and suspicions that cause mistrust and go a long way not to only affect the cost of our Elections but also the credibility of it in the minds of the people. We attack and label the various Chairpersons of the Electoral Commission over the years. We did this to Dr.

Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, Mrs Charlotte Kesson-Smith Osei and currently Mrs Jean Adukwei Mensa is being subjected to same.

Education of the electorate is the duty of all of us especially you our friends of the media. In fact, without the freedom of the press, it is meaningless to talk about free elections. We encourage the media to play a critical role by checking political interest groups to conform with the norm and reality, and to do away with self-centred position that could destroy this country on the altar of winning political power. 

The fair and transparent conduct of elections, prevention of fraud and certainty of legal remedy processes are very important duties that the Electoral Commission must achieve, that is why we thoroughly discussed the new CI which seeks to introduce the ECOWAS card issued by the National Identification Authority as the document to verify new voter registrants as Ghanaian and also having attained the age of 18 years and above.

It is very interesting to note that all political parties have had the opportunity to participate in all processes leading to the drafting of the new CI and various changes that accompanied the process. It is sad that our brothers from the NDC who abandoned their duty to participate at IPAC have taken a contrary stance on the new CI. Unfortunately, ever since this information by the EC came out, there have been a lot of allegations and even Honourable members of Parliament who can easily read this new CI joined as the source of falsity just to score cheap political points.

Recently, the Leader of the Ghana Union Movement has also accused the Electoral Commission of recruiting Electoral Officers with the ruling NPP. How can one make such a baseless and unfounded accusations? We want to use this opportunity to call on the IGP to invite the Leader of GUM to investigate some of these allegations as all Political Parties were given the names of the Electoral Officers and also granted the opportunity for us to provide feedback on each of them we felt had some known political affiliations. One cannot then turn around to just drag the name of such a reputable institution that is the back bone of our democracy into disrepute without any substantive proof.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Election 2024 will be another watershed for us as a Country; therefore, ensuring Voter confidence is paramount in our Electoral process and we all have a part to play in this endeavour to strengthen the Electoral Commission.

As Parliament resumes sitting, we want to use this medium to entreat Honourable Members to lay the new CI so that we can carry on with the modalities in ensuring a smooth continuous registration process to enable new voters to register.

In conclusion, we also want to publicly call on our colleagues, the NDC, to rescind their decision of abandoning ship and rather join all of us back at IPAC to add their quota in building a strong and enviable democracy that will continue to be worthy of emulation across the continent.

Fellow Ghanaians, we the 12 undersigned Political Parties appeal to you to pray for the Electoral Commission, join forces with them, lend our unflinching support, provide constructive criticisms and work with them, especially we the Political actors to enable them carry out their constitutional mandate.

God Bless our Home Land Ghana and make Her Great and Strong!

Credit: Peacefmonline

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