The Minority in Parliament has vowed to prevent the House from taking action on the Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Instrument (C.I) proposed by the Electoral Commission.
The C.I. when laid and passed will recognise the Ghana Card as the sole identification card for demonstrating one’s eligibility for purposes of voter registration.
The Minority Caucus, in a petition presented to the House yesterday, which was advertised on the Order Paper but later stood down, said that the C.I. should not be laid until the backlog of Ghana cards have been cleared.
The National Identification Authority reports it has some 1.3 million outstanding cards to be collected.
The minority also said any further action on the proposed C.I. by or in Parliament should be frozen until consultations have been initiated and concluded with major stakeholders, especially the political parties, including the National Democratic Congress and civil society groups.
Explaining why they are taking such an action, Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, who spoke to the Parliamentary Press Corps said the use of the Ghana card as the sole identification card for voter registration will deny people their rights, which have been enshrined in Article 42 of the 1992 constitution.
Article 42 states that: “Every citizen of Ghana of eighteen years of age 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.”
He said the Caucus has a duty to preserve Ghana’s democracy, protect and ensure the fundamental rights and privileges of citizens enshrined in Article 42.
Mr Iddrisu also questioned why the EC is not undertaking any exercise to expand the register but rather seeking to rely on data from the NIA.
According to Mr Iddrisu, Article 45(e) of the 1992 constitution mandates the EC to undertake an exercise that will expand the register.
“The Electoral Commission shall undertake programmes for the expansion of the registration of voters,” Article 45(e) states.
Mr Iddrisu noted yesterday that the caucus is convinced that the discrepancies in data, between the National Identification Authority and the Electoral Commission may affect the people’s fundamental rights to vote.
He said the caucus will ensure that the EC complies with provisions of article 45(e).
“So that’s the essence of the motion we will seek to move, to enforce the respect for Article 45(e) of the constitution,” Mr Iddrisu said.
Explaining why the petition was stood down, Mr Iddrisu said it was to enable him have further consultation with the Speaker and leadership of the House.
Yesterday, the Leader also shared his views on the President’s Address to the Nation on Sunday, especially on the issue of haircut.
According to Mr Iddrisu, indicated that there will be a haircut for as long as the government wants to restructure its debt sustainability.