A Ghanaian Political Science Lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Dr. Kwasi Amakye-Boateng has made some reservations about the conduct of officials of the Electoral Commission (EC) as they push to get their proposed Constitutional Instrument seeking to make the Ghana Card the sole form of identification for registering potential Ghanaian voters.
The Chairperson of the commission, Jean Mensa appeared before the country’s Parliament following a summon by the Speaker to explain issues concerning the proposal.
Madam Jean Mensa defended the Commission’s position and noted that the EC was committed to ensuring that no citizen would be disenfranchised as a result and that it would make sure that the registration process would be made continuous and as easy as possible.
However, Dr Amakye-Boateng has explained that the EC’s posturing that things would run smoothly as regards the new Constitutional Instrument (CI) is based on assumptions, saying that the country has faced institutional challenges over the years.
“The EC’s position is built on an assumption. The assumption that the system will work very well, that the National Identification Authority (NIA) would become efficient, its capacity is built and that it would go about its duties with all the diligence required and that would facilitate anyone who would want the Ghana Card so he or she could register,” he said on JoyNews’ AM Show on Thursday.
Explaining further, the political scientist noted that the assumption is not an “air-tight one”, and he questioned the efficiency of the NIA, asking if the body could boldly confirm to the public that no individual has dealt with them due to their inability to provide them with the Ghana Card.
The expert who indicated that he has issues with the conduct of the whole electoral exercise, said that the EC is behaving as though it has “some very tight, rigid deadline to meet, without which we can’t function as a nation as far as our electoral activities are concerned.”
According to him, the country is not faced with any such deadline and therefore the Commission must prioritise the rights of Ghanaians who wish to participate in the politics of their motherland. This he said, the State must ensure.
The NIA recently disclosed that it has provided majority of citizens with the Ghana Card contrary to public perception. According to the body, 17 million people have been provided with the identification document. It noted that only 2.5 million registered individuals have not received the card and that it could serve the said people within a period of six months before the election.
Meanwhile, the Minority Caucus in Parliament has been fighting the quest of the EC to use the Ghana Card as the sole document to register potential voters, as they believe the Ghana Card is not made easily accessible and can disenfranchise many voters.
Some experts have also recommended that the electoral body make provision for other documents to be used aside from the Ghana Card.