The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), has urged the Electoral Commission (EC), to reconsider its decision to hold this year’s limited voter registration at its district offices.
Mr Samuel Asare Akuamoah, a Deputy Chair in Charge of Operations at NCCE, who made the call, said this was to ensure that all qualified citizens had access to the centres to enable them to register.
The EC has set September 12 to October 2, 2023, for the registration of new voters onto the electoral roll. However, the Commission said the registration will only take place at its 268 District Offices across the country.
This has raised concerns among sections of the public, with some political commentators describing the decision as undemocratic, which could disenfranchise many Ghanaians.
Last week, seven smaller political parties, including the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG), People’s National Congress (PNC), All Progressives Congress (APC), National Democratic Party (NDP), and Ghana Freedom Party (GFP), also raised concerns about the decision, warning that it would disenfranchise many eligible voters if implemented.
The major opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), also warned that it may head to court if the EC restricted the limited voter exercise at its district offices.
Speaking at the media launch of the 30th anniversary celebration of the NCCE in Accra, Mr Akuamoah called on the EC to reconsider its position to ensure accessibility.
He warned that the decision, if maintained, may demotivate many and result in low turnout.
“My humble appeal is that the EC should reconsider spread of the locations of the registration centres to serve the youth who are in the deprived areas who may not be able to travel to the main centres so they are not disenfranchised because if you are not registered you cannot exercise your franchise,” he urged.
Again, Mr Akuamoah urged the EC to undertake a rigorous public voter education exercise to whip up interest of the citizenry.
The Deputy Chair of the NCCE also reiterated calls for the amendment of sections of the Constitution, stressing that it would strengthen Ghana’s democracy.
“We need to see some results coming up,” he said. “We have seen two failed attempts: one by the NDC from 2010 till they left and one by the current administration, which also didn’t succeed.”
“We pray that these reforms are necessary and that for the time that is ahead of us, we are successful in getting all the amendments that are required to strengthen our democracy,” he added.
Ms Kathleen Addy, Chairperson, NCCE, cautioned Ghanaians against any uprising despite the current economic challenges the country was faced with.
She explained that the coup d’état was not the solution to the country’s problems, stressing the need for Ghanaians to continue to uphold the tenets of democracy to sustain gains made.
“Indeed, when it comes to coups, Ghana has been there – we have done that and we know for a fact that nothing good can come of it,” she stressed.