NDC rejects NIA, EC explanations
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has rubbished explanations given by the Electoral Commission (EC), the National Identification Authority (NIA) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) over its accusation that the trio were conniving to rig the 2020 elections.
The party said the EC intends to use the Ghana Card, knowing very well a higher percentage of Ghanaians do not have it.
The NDC said the EC, NIA, and NPP are using that move to disenfranchise many Ghanaians from having their names in the new voters’ register.
Following the allegations by the main opposition party, NDC, the EC issued a statement and made it clear that all stakeholders are involved in the electoral processes, and there was no way it could manipulate the elections in anyone’s favor.
The NIA, on the other hand, said it was not doing its registration purposely for the EC, as such, the authority was not under pressure to produce identification cards for every citizen to enable EC to goahead withits registration.
The NPP, on the other hand, has said that its opponent shot itself in the foot by boycotting an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting in March, which discussed the inclusion of the Ghana Card as a requirement for verification at the new voter registration.
Meanwhile, the NDCsaid those explanations were just a figment of the three entities’ imaginations, and discerning Ghanaians would not accept them.
“As a matter of fact, the wishy-washy responses of the EC, NIA and the NPP to the issues we have raised further exposes the criminal conspiracy between these entities to disenfranchise millions of eligible voters and subvert the will of the people. But the people of this country are discerning and vigilant, and will not allow this attempt to undermine the integrity of this year’s general elections, and for that matter our democracy,” the NDC stated at a news conference yesterday.
The Director of Elections for the NDC, Mr. Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, who addressed the press conference, said the EC’s position is contrary to its earlier one that the Ghana Card was not going to be used whatsoever in the pending 2020 elections.
“The point has to be made that the existing voters ID card is the most widely available identification document in Ghana with over 16 million holders, and has been upheld by the Supreme Court of Ghana as the best prima facie evidence of voter eligibility in the Abu Ramadan Case. It is the identification document with the strictest, most rigorous, and transparent acquisition procedure, and has been used in the compilation of all voter registers since the inception of the Fourth Republic (19196, 2004 & 2012),” he said.
Mr Elvis Afriyie Ankrah described as “a concocted barefaced lie,” claims by the NPP that the political parties were consulted on proposals to amend CI 91 at an IPAC meeting on March 25, 2020. He said no such consultations with the political parties took place.
“In any case, the proposed CI was laid in Parliament on 17th March, 2020, EIGHT (8) clear days before the 25th March, 2020 IPAC meeting in question,” he pointed out, saying it was absurd for the NPP to suggest that the proposed CI was discussed at IPAC eight days after it had been laid in Parliament.
According to the NDC, the registration requirements provided under the proposed CI, which has been laid in Parliament, are too narrow and wholly inadequate for purposes of identifying the about 18 million eligible voters.
The NDC further explained only about 6.5 million holders of the Ghana Card are 18 years and above, and there are less than two million Ghanaian passport holders who are 18 years and above.
“This is part of the grand conspiracy between the EC, NIA and the NPP to disenfranchise over 10 million eligible voters, mostly in NDC strongholds,” the NDC reiterated its allegation.
The party said in many places known to be strongholds of the NDC, only three to five percent of those enrolled onto the NIA registration have been issued with the Ghana Card, a situation,it said, explains why the party believes there is a rigging ploy in place.
Meanwhile, the NDC said it shall employ every legitimate means to resist the attempt to suppress votes and rig the 2020 general elections.