New voters’ register: You have no right to disagree with ‘courteous’ EC – Casely-Hayford

New voters’ register: You have no right to disagree with ‘courteous’ EC – Casely-Hayford

A leading member of Civil Society Organisation, OccupyGhana has dismissed concerns raised by opposition political parties over decision of the Elector

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A leading member of Civil Society Organisation, OccupyGhana has dismissed concerns raised by opposition political parties over decision of the Electoral Commission to compile a new register for 2020 elections.

Sydney Casely-Hayford describes as needless the vehement rejection of the Electoral Commission’s decision which was included in a press release detailing discussions had during the just ended Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting.

Speaking on a news analysis show on an Accra based radio station, the Occupy Ghana member was of the view that the EC by virtue of the fact that they informed the political parties about their intentions should be given utmost respect.

He suggested that even though the parties were stakeholders and directly affected by the decision of the EC, the institution is not mandated to go by the whims and wishes of the parties.

The opposition NDC, in particular, has emphatically challenged the EC over the decision specifically the notion that the issue was extensively discussed during IPAC.

“Both parties behave like as if the EC has no right to do anything or to correct the register because they are those who are entitled and they should be consulted before anything and I am saying that is wrong. It is a misconstruction of exactly how the register should be. The EC is the one who is mandated constitutionally and by law to make changes to the register which she believes or which the EC believes should be used in conducting the elections.”

”It is as simple as that. So if she has decided that she is going to do it and she has been courteous enough to inform you, that this is what I will be doing, you have no right to disagree and say that we don’t accept that you should do it,” Sydney Casely-Hayford asserted.

The NDC General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia has maintained that the current voters register is one of the best in the country’s history.

Should there be a need to change, he advised the EC to go by the tradition that has been built since 1992 which has the register been changed every 10 years.

Asiedu Nketia suggested, therefore, that it will be easy to swallow should the register be recompiled in 2022 because it will be enough time for the register to accumulate ‘ghost names’ that ought to be removed.

But Sydney Casely-Hayford on the show remarked that the political parties should know their limits in terms of what extent they stress their views as that of the general public.
He adds that the fact that the political parties has membership made up of millions of Ghanaians doesn’t mean their views represent the interest of the population and thus called on them to give the EC the room operate and deliver on their mandate.

“It is a lot of common sense to know that at the bed rock of all of our democracy, there has to be a good accepted register by the people of this country. The fact that the NDC has formed a political party and the NPP has formed a political party and channels the voice of its so called members through it doesn’t give them the right to usurp our authority” he advised.
IMANI Africa President, Franklin Cudjoe said the EC were reckless with the way they announced the decision.

Franklin Cudjoe insisted that the EC cannot roll out such an initiative without sitting with the parties to dialogue on the modalities and have their inputs.

“For a big announcement like this, all the parties must be on board. It looks as if this is quite a reckless means of announcing a major decision that had not being thought through properly by all parties but that is the procedural problem that I think basically shouldn’t have gotten to this level. Because before you issue press statement like this, I mean these are serious issues and you know how elections have issues in this part of our world, not even here but the whole world really, so to commit yourself to a statement like this when indeed you have not exhausted the process this is not a small matter…”

By: Jonah Eledi/awakenewsonline.com