Delay assembly polls if poll roll not credible – ChaLoG tells EC

Delay assembly polls if poll roll not credible – ChaLoG tells EC

The Chamber for Local Governance (ChaLoG) has called on the Electoral Commission (EC) to postpone the upcoming 17 December 2019 district assembly elections, if it feels strongly that the current biometric voter register is defective and, therefore, not credible for the 2020 general elections.

The Chamber’s call comes on the back of the election management body’s claim that the current biometric register is defective and, therefore, wants to compile a new register ahead of the 2020 general elections.

ChaLoG, in a statement, said: “The EC should know or ought to have known that Ghana’s Constitution places the same premium on all elections in this country, be it district-level elections or presidential and/or parliamentary elections.

“It is, therefore, unthinkable and unconstitutional for the EC to purport to use a ‘defective and non-credible’ biometric voter register to conduct the upcoming district-level elections and yet go ahead to compile a new ‘non-defective and credible’ biometric voter register to conduct the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections”.

ChaLoG said it finds the decision by the EC to deliberately use a “defective and non-credible” biometric voter register to conduct the upcoming district-level elections to be a very serious affront to local governance practice and a slap in the face of the 1992 Republican Constitution.

ChaLoG noted in its statement that it is of the firm belief and conviction that the demand for the compilation of a new biometric voter register by the EC is not sincere and completely needless and unwarranted.

Read the full statement below:

POSTPONE DISTRICT ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS IF THE CURRENT BIOMETRIC VOTERS REGISTER IS DEFECTIVE AND NOT CREDIBLE – ChaLoG TELLS THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION (EC)

The Chamber for Local Governance (ChaLoG) has noted with deep apprehension the avowed aim of the Electoral Commission to compile a new Biometric Voters Register ahead of the 2020 General Elections citing “challenges the EC has had with the operation of the current system which has informed the decision to go for a new Biometric Voters Register” coupled with the decision to use the same  Biometric Voters Register (which in the honest view of the EC itself) is defective and not credible, for the upcoming District Level Elections.

Is the Electoral Commission by any stretch of the imagination, telling Ghanaians that the District Level Elections and the Referendum (though abortive) to be conducted on December 17th is going to go ahead with the defective and non-credible Voters Register?

The Electoral Commission had for the past seven (7) years used the current Biometric Voters Register to conduct the 2012 General Elections, 2015 District Level Elections, the 2016 General Elections and the 2018 Referendum to create the Six (6) New Regions.

This same ‘defective and non-credible Biometric Voters Register is to be used for the conduct of the December 17th District Level Elections and would have also been used for the Referendum to amend Article 55 (3) if the Bill were not to have been withdrawn by the President on the 1st December 2019.

What then constitutes the compelling reason (s) why the EC is now telling Ghanaians, that this same Biometric Voters Register which has been used in the past and is also to be used to conduct the upcoming District Level Elections on December 17th 2019 has become defective and non-credible, which is necessitating a compilation of a new Biometric Voters Register?

ChaLoG finds the reasons and arguments being put up by the EC to compile a new Biometric Voters Register ahead of the 2020 General Elections to be very highly untenable in view of the fact that it is this same ‘defective and non-credible’ Biometric Voters Register that has been used to conduct all the aforementioned successful elections in this country.

ChaLoG wishes to call on the EC to as a matter of urgency, postpone the upcoming District Assembly Elections, if it feels so strongly that the current Biometric Voters Register is very highly defective and therefore not credible to be used to conduct the 2020 General Elections which is nearly a year away.

The EC should know or ought to have known that Ghana’s Constitution places the same premium on all elections in this country, be it District Level Elections or Presidential and/or Parliamentary Elections.

It is therefore unthinkable and unconstitutional for the EC to purport to use a ‘defective and non-credible’ Biometric Voters Register to conduct the upcoming District Level Elections and yet go ahead to compile a new ‘non-defective and credible’ Biometric Voters Register to conduct the 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections.

ChaLoG therefore finds the decision by the EC to deliberately use a ‘defective and non-credible’ Biometric Voters Register to conduct the upcoming District Level Elections to be a very serious affront to Local Governance practice and a slap in the face of the 1992 Republican Constitution.

ChaLoG is of the firm belief and conviction, that the demand for the compilation of a new Biometric Voters Register by the EC is not sincere and completely needless and unwarranted.

ChaLoG holds the firm view that, if the existing ‘defective and non-credible’ Biometric Voters Register could be successfully used to conduct the upcoming District Level Elections, then it can be equally used for the upcoming 2020 General Elections as well.

ChaLoG wishes to call on all progressive forces and indeed all Ghanaians to rise up and fiercely resist and reject the avowed aim of the EC to compile a new Biometric Voters Register, if it goes ahead to conduct the upcoming District Level Elections using the current Biometric Voters Register.

This is simply because, if the current ‘defective and non-credible’ Biometric Voters Register can be successfully used to conduct the upcoming District Level Elections (which is also national in character), then the same Biometric Voters Register could also still be used to conduct the 2020 General Elections as well, without having to burden eligible voters from going to queue again to have their names captured in the proposed new Biometric Voters Register.

ChaLoG finally calls on all Ghanaians to rise up and say a BIG NO to the compilation of a new Biometric Voters Register for the 2020 General Elections, if the current Biometric Voters Register is successfully used to conduct the upcoming District Level Elections on December, 17th 2019.

Long Live Ghana’s Democracy

Long Live ChaLoG

Long Live Ghana

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