New twist in preparations for Ghana’s election

University professors in Ghana have criticized the decision of the Electoral Commission to compile a new voters’ register arguing that the move will disenfranchise many qualified voters

June 17, 2020 by West Africa Newswire
Officials from Ghana's Electoral Commission during the 2016 elections. The decision of the commission to compile a new voter register has been widely criticized.

Ghana’s Electoral Commission has come under intense fire from 100 professors from more than 50 universities in the country for its decision to compile a new voters’ register. The professors insist that with only six months to the elections, the compilations of a new voters’ register would lead to the disenfranchisement of many qualified voters.

The largest opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the Peoples National Convention (PNC) have already accused the Electoral Commission of trying to rig the December 7 elections in favor of the sitting President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

In an open letter to the chairperson of the Electoral Commission, the professors urged her to err on the side of caution.

“It is our considered view that the commission under your leadership seems to have thrown away the principles of constructive deliberations and consensus building, and that to a very large extent has accounted for the current controversy” the professors said.

They claimed that the current unilateral departure from the previous approach to decision making by the Commission has poisoned the electoral environment with the potential to undermine the credibility of the 2020 elections.

Jean Mensa, Chairperson of the Commission insists that the current voters’ register is not credible and ought to be replaced by a new one. She claimed that the current register has the names of 1 million dead people on it and can be manipulated.

The NDC and two individuals have filed a petition at the Supreme Court challenging the constitutional basis for the compilation of a new register.

The Supreme Court is expected to deliver its verdict on Tuesday, June 23, 2020.