By Issifu Seidu Kudus Gbeadese
(Loud citizen from Laribanga)

It is quite obvious that the centre cannot hold for the Akuffo-Addo/Jean Mensah grand agenda of compiling a new voter’s register for use in the 2020 general elections. Popular voices and some key allies of Akuffo-Addo Inner Caucus in the past have started kicking against the Electoral Commission’s belligerence in the ongoing conversation around the proposed new voter’s register.

Lawyer Akoto Ampaw, a renowned lawyer and an ardent supporter of Akuffo-Addo and the NPP has joined the other popular voices to kick against the compilation of the new voter’s register. Mr Akoto Ampaw is of the view that, the Electoral Commission can find a best possible alternative for its relentless resolve to compile a new voter’s register. He suggested that the EC can beef up the old register and clean it up as suggested by the NDC and other Civil Society Organizations for use in the 2020 general election. Mr Ampaw is worried of the times we have found ourselves as a people.

Commenting on the above position by Lawyer Akoto Ampaw, seasoned Journalist and a bosom friend of Akuffo-Addo, Mr Kweku Baako, found some reasoning in the voice of Mr Ampaw. Mr Baako admits that his position prior to the Covid-19 pandemic was for the new voter’s register, especially with the proposed improvements in the technology, but given the current circumstances, the EC needs to think of an alternative. He said “as a realist, I don’t think we should worry ourselves going for a new voter’s register”. Mr Baako finally advised the EC to put everything on hold and find ways and means of updating the old voter register.

Mr Baako was making this argument on Good Morning Ghana in reaction to the proposal by Lawyer Akoto Ampaw. He said the circumstances of the times and the realities of the Covid-19 pandemic should inform the decision of the EC and Ghanaians at large.

A member of the Akuffo-Addo led “Kumi Preko” demo and a Pan Africanist, Mr Kwesi Pratt Jnr, has equally expressed worry about the EC’s adamance even when the realities of the times don’t support the idea of compiling a new voter’s register. Mr Pratt reminded the EC that it is not a “god” with unfettered powers, so it cannot suggest that it’s independence should imply arbitrary use of power. Mr Pratt enjoined the EC to work within its mandate as given it by the 1992 constitution in article 45.

Other Front Liners and popular voices who joined the chorus of kicking against the new voter’s register are; Hon PC Appiah Ofori, a former NPP Member of Parliament for Assikuma-Odoben-Brakwa and Mr Wireko Brobbey, a suspended Founding Member of the NPP.

Mr PC Appiah Ofori said “in the face of the raging coronavirus pandemic and strain on limited resources, there is no need to throw out everything and acquire totally new infrastructure when the present system could be augmented and made capable of performing the task.” This has been the position of all Civil Society Organizations including CODEO, IDEG, CDD, IMANI AFRICA and a host of political parties.

30th May, 2020

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