Parliament gives EC ‘green light’ to use the Ghana card and passport for identification
Parliament gives EC the ‘green light’ to use the Ghana card and passport for identification; Parliament has okayed the use of the Ghana card and passport as the only means of identification for persons registering to vote in the 2020 general elections.
The House by a 102 to 96 majority decision in favour of the amendment, gave the all-clear for the Electoral Commission’s Constitutional Instrument (C.I. 126).
What this means is that the old voter ID will not be valid for the registration exercise as a key form of identification.
The vote in the august Chamber was triggered after the Speaker of Parliament, Prof Aaron Mike Oquaye, granted a request from the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu for a division, after the opposition MPs challenged the voice vote.
MPs, according to alphabetical order, were called one after the other to cast their ballot while the leadership of both sides of the House looked on closely, not in the mood to countenance any renegade member.
During today’s debate on the floor of Parliament, the opposition MPs argued that several Ghanaians without access to passports or Ghana cards risk being disenfranchised by the Electoral Commission.
Led by their leader, they also among others vowed to hold the Electoral Commissioners responsible for any future occurrences since the C.I. in its current form will spell doom for the country’s democracy.
But Director of Communication of the governing NPP and Adentan MP, Yaw Buaben Asamoa said the usage of passport and Ghana card will ensure a clean voters register. He also debunked claims by the minority that the move by the EC will disenfranchise qualified voters.
Former President, John Agyekum Kufuor has thrown his weight behind the compilation of a new voter’s register for the 2020 general elections in December.
The former president claimed most people on the register used foul means to get their voters identification cards (ID) and that does not make the voters register clean.
The debate on the compilation of a new voter’s register ahead of the December elections has seen the various actors taking entrenched positions, with most opposition political parties kicking against it.
Speaking on the issue on Onua TV’s Maakye on Wednesday, jointly hosted by Bright Kwasi Asempa, Anokyewaaba Serwaa, and Adwoa Konadu-Yiadom, former President Kufuor said in Twi that “we agree that some people are not Ghanaians but they are on the voters’ register. We should do it again because it is not good”.
He added, “there are so many people now on the voters’ register and I agree to the new voter’s register. If we get a clean register to vote, it will help”.
He noted that the register still contains names of persons who registered with NHIS cards and drivers’ licence despite a Supreme Court’s directive to get those names expunged. He noted that these two cards can be obtained by anyone including foreigners.
The former president pointed out, “some might have used dubious ways to get the ID. Some are not citizens but they have used means to get the ID and as such non-citizens have gotten the right to vote”.