BY PHILIP ANTOH | email@example.com
A-ONE-TIME Municipal Chief Executive for Ga West and current Chairman of the Board of Amasaman Rural Bank, Nana Bram Okae II, says the Electoral Commission (EC) is the only institution mandated by law to call for a new voters register.
According to him, the EC has the mandate by the Constitution of Ghana to do so, explaining that chapter 7 of the constitution, Article 42 to 56, summarised by the National Commission for Civic Education, states among other things that the functions of the EC shall include compiling and periodically revising the register of voters.
“Per this articles, it is only the EC that has the mandate to do so and not even the National Identification Authority has been mandated to do so,” he stated.
Nana Okae, who doubles as the chief of Samsam-Mpehuasem and a former Director, Language Centre, the University of Ghana, said it was not out of place for the EC the EC to call for new register in an election year because the a similar incident took place in 2012.
“What the EC is doing currently is just to follow the 2012 calendar where they did the writing of names in April and May and sometime two months after that, they did the exhibition of the voters register and in December the general election was held.
“So if we are talking about timing, they are not out of place and they are doing it out of experience. If those talking plentifully believe that legally the EC has done something wrong, they can go to court,” he stated.
The elderly statesman condemned the argument that the Commissioners were new and therefore will make mistakes, considering the time limit for the new register and elections, saying that these Commissioners had gone through the notes and files of the entire Commission and therefore were abreast of the activities of the Commission.
About NDC’s reaction
He said in spite of their agitation against the compilation of the new register of voters, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in particular were educating their members to go out massively to register for the EC’s new voters register, adding that what they were doing currently was just to score political points.
“This current register brought President [Nana Addo Dankwa] Akufo-Addo to power, so I am surprised that the NDC are worried that the NPP say they want to change the register; they should be happy rather about it because the old register that former commissioner, Mrs Charlotte Osei, used brought the current administration to power,” he stated.
He said currently those protesting against the new voter register could not have the majority because the opposition NDC in the last election had 44.5% while NPP had 53.7% so “no one can say they are in the majority.”
The former Ga West MCE said the assertion by others that the EC was going to waste $400 million on a new register is baseless because they don’t work at the EC.
“Consider the analogy of mechanic’s advice on a vehicle being challenged by a non-mechanic is comical so those individuals and party trying to mock what the commission is saying about the software is neither here nor there.”
“How do you know that what EC is saying is the truth or not? Some of those making the unnecessary noise don’t even know what is going on there? So let those who work there do the argument and again they have the mandate,” the MCE stated.
Chances of NPP and NDC in 2020
He said NDC had shot itself in the foot by reelecting former President John Dramani Mahama as their Presidential candidate because as “I sit far from active politics, John Mahama cannot be marketed because there are some negatives about him and NPP will use all those negatives.”
“But if it has been Spio Garbrah or Alban Bagbin, what will you say about them? So, they made a big mistake by opting for Mahama.”
According to him, NPP is going to win the 2020 elections hands down because NDC has no message and the moment NDC said they were going to even review Free SHS, it meant they had lost the election in advance in advance.