Members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) have started what looks like another campaign against the Electoral Commission (EC), complaining about the Public Elections Regulations 2020, the instrument that will be regulating the 2020 general election in December.
The Minority Leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu, said yesterday that he feared the EC would use a provisional register to run the 2020 general election.
According to him, the new instrument, Public Elections Regulations 2020, which was laid on Thursday, defines “a registered voter as a person whose name appears on the provisional voters’ register.”
“By virtue of Article 11 of the 1992 Constitution, Parliament can only watch on. It is not an instrument which we can add, subtract or delete. It is inferior legislation to the parent Act under Article 11 of the Constitution,” he told the media in Parliament yesterday.
The NDC Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale South said “ my reading and understanding of the new instrument give me much to be concerned with and to state authoritatively that the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections of Ghana are likely to be run on a provisional voters’ register and not a certified final register.”
“Because in the definition column of the newly introduced regulation, the Public Elections Regulations, which replaces C.I. 94, a registered voter means a person whose name appears on the provisional voters’ register,” he explained.
“Not as it was in C.I. 94 on a certified final register. It means that the EC is running behind time and is running for time and is gusting for time. What are the implications, and the ramifications will be on the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections; your guess is as good as mine,” he added.
“It also means that nominations for both presidential and parliamentary candidates will be on a provisional voters’ register and not certified final register. So if you were recommended by a voter and the person’s name is subsequently expunged or deleted you may suffer consequences; that I am unable to explain,” he noted and concluded that all he was seeking was for the presidential and parliamentary elections to be conducted on a certified register.
When the C.I. 126, which has now become law and is being used to regulate the ongoing voters’ registration exercise was laid, the same NDC worked hard to undermine its passage.
They even went to court to challenge certain aspects of the instrument but to no avail.
By Ernest Kofi Adu, Parliament House