By Elsie Appiah-Osei
Accra, Nov 08, GNA – Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority Leader, says it will be a challenge for Ghana to rely solely on the Ghana Card for voter registration.
The Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana has proposed the use of the Ghana Card as the sole document for voter registration in the 2024 general election.
However, at a Leaders’ Media Briefing in Parliament on Wednesday, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, also the Leader of Government Business in the House cited the ongoing challenges in the issuance of Ghana Cards by the National Identification Authority (NIA) as a setback thereby making it not good for the Ghana Card to be the sole document for voter registration.
The engagement which is held at the beginning of every Meeting under the auspices of the Media Relations Department of Parliament aimed to ensure open interactions primarily in the scope of the work agenda of that Meeting among the leaders and the Parliamentary Press Corps.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, also the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Suame noted that many eligible voters had not yet been issued the card, and some who had registered for it were still waiting to receive it.
He said: “The EC’s initial decision to link voter registration for the District Level Elections (DLE) to the Ghana Card has faced criticism due to the exclusion of eligible voters who lack the card. Therefore, making the Ghana Card the sole document for voter registration would create similar issues.
“Many people don’t have the Ghana card and some of the people who have registered to get the card have not been given the card. And given the pendency of the District Level Elections (DLE) to have tied registration to the Ghana card knowing that some of the eligible Ghanaians have not been registered to get the Ghana cards, to say that you were restricting it to the Ghana card was going to be problematic.
“If they (EC) can assure that every eligible Ghanaian will be provided with the Ghana card then you can bring the instrument based on the Ghana card. But if you admit that not every eligible Ghanaian has been registered or can be registered then it becomes difficult to tie the registration solely to the Ghana card,” he said.
Dr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson, the Minority Leader, said the Ghana Card was not proof of identity and could not substitute the right to vote in a democratic process.
“About 62 per cent of people who registered had no Ghana Card and it ties exactly to what the House decided,” he said.
Dr Forson therefore urged the EC to have another look at their decision and work closely with the NIA to ensure the registration of eligible voters.