Covid-19: Ghana’s EC to set new date for voters’ registration exercise

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Ghana’s Electoral Commission has said it will soon announce a new date for the compilation of the new voters’ register.

“In view of the ban imposed on public gatherings by His Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, a new date for the registration will be announced in due course,” the EC said in a statement signed by its Acting Director of Public Affairs, Sylvia Annoh.

President Nana Akufo-Addo imposed a ban on public gatherings and religious activities in a bid to curb the spread of the Coronavirus in the country.

So far seven cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Ghana.

Although the Electoral Commission had wanted to compile a new voters’ register on April 18, the exercise will not come off on the said date following the president’s four-week ban on public gatherings.

“The Commission wishes to assure the general public that it is taking the necessary steps to guarantee the safety of the citizenry and safeguard them from the virus. In this regard, the Electoral Commission will put in place concrete measures including providing sanitizers at all polling stations and providing a conducive atmosphere at all registration centres so as to protect its stakeholders from the virus among others.

“The public is entreated to prepare for the upcoming Voters’ Registration exercise,” the Commission added in its statement.

The Inter-Party Resistance Against New Voters Register had already downplayed the EC’s preparedness for the April 18 exercise.

The group has been sceptical of the EC’s ability to conduct the exercise within the limited time available for the December 7 national polls.

EC lays C.I 91 before Parliament for amendment

The Electoral Commission (EC) has subsequently presented to Parliament a Constitutional Instrument to amend C.I 91.

The amendment mandates that Ghana card and a passport should be an accepted form of identification for the new voters’ register.

The Instrument is currently under consideration with the subsidiary legislation committee.

Barring any unforeseen circumstance, the C.I will mature in 21 sitting days.

Here’s the EC’s full statement:

“The Electoral Commission has noted with concern, information in sections of the media to the effect that the compilation of the New Voters’ Register has been cancelled due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus in the country.

“The Commission wishes to state that the compilation of the New Voter’s Register has not been cancelled. Plans are far advanced for the successful take-off of the registration process.

“In view of the ban imposed on public gatherings by His Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, a new date for the registration will be announced in due course.

“The Commission wishes to assure the general public that it is taking the necessary steps to guarantee the safety of the citizenry and safeguard them from the virus. In this regard, the Electoral Commission will put in place concrete measures including providing sanitizers at all polling stations and providing a conducive atmosphere at all registration centres so as to protect its stakeholders from the virus among others.

“The public is entreated to prepare for the upcoming Voters’ Registration exercise.”

Signed

MRS.SYLVIA ANNOH, Ag. DIRECTOR, PUBLIC AFFAIRS

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