We’ll oppose any attempt to manipulate, suppress voter registration, says NDC

The chairman of the NDC said the decision by the Electoral Commission to restrict the voter registration exercise to its district offices was insensitive and unreasonable

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has vowed to strictly oppose any attempts by the Electoral Commission (EC) to manipulate and suppress voters in the ongoing limited voter registration exercise.

The EC, on Tuesday (12 September), commenced the registration of new voters across its 268 district offices despite opposition from some political parties.

Last week, the NDC and four other political parties – the Convention People’s Party (CPP), All People’s Congress (APC) Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG) and the Great Consolidated People’s Party (GCPP) sued the EC at the Supreme Court over the Commission’s decision to restrict the registration exercise to its district offices.

Addressing a news conference, in Accra, on Tuesday (12 September), Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, the national chairperson of the NDC, said notwithstanding these pending legal matters, the party was fully ready for the registration exercise.

He said the party was keenly and actively monitoring the process and would ensure that any “calculated” attempt by the EC and the ruling NPP to “suppress votes and rig the process” was defeated.

“NDC shall always stand and fight for the masses,” Nketiah said.

The national chairman of the NDC, however, described the EC’s decision to proceed with the exercise despite the suit as a contravention to a precedent set by the Commission.

“We wish to emphasise that the EC’s decision to proceed with the limited voter registration exercise today [Tuesday] despite being served with two injunction applications from the courts contradicts an important precedent set by the EC themselves during the 2023 NDC presidential and parliamentary primaries when they publicly announced the suspension of their supervision of our primaries on grounds of a suit and injunction application filed by Dr Kwabena Duffour,” he said.

Aseidu Nketiah maintained that the decision by the Commission to restrict the voter registration exercise to its district offices would reduce access to voter registration centres.

He said Regulation 2(2)(b) of C. I 91 provides that: “In designating a place as a registration centre, the Commission shall take into consideration
(a) the suitability of the place for use as a polling station on election day; and
(b) the accessibility of the place to prospective applicants for registration.”

He said given the fact that the district offices of the EC were not suitable for use as polling stations on Election Day, the decision by the EC to restrict voter registration to its district offices was “not only unreasonable but unlawful.”

Also, he noted that, given the long distances that many eligible voters would have to travel and the exorbitant fares they would have to pay to transport themselves to district offices of the EC and considering the current economic hardships the decision was “insensitive, unreasonable, unlawful and unconscionable.”

“Again, the EC’s decision to restrict registration centres to their district offices violates Regulation 2(2)(b) of C.I 91 (Amended by C.I. 126) – the law that governs centres for voter registration,” he said.

“We firmly believe the EC’s decision to restrict registration centres to their district offices will deprive many eligible Ghanaians of their right to be registered as voters and lead to voter suppression,” he alleged.

Asiedu Nketiah, however, called on party officials, members, sympathisers and Ghanaians to encourage, fund and assist all eligible persons or prospective registrants to participate in the ongoing registration exercise.

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