The Upper East Regional Secretariat of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Saturday raised concerns about the ongoing voter register exhibition exercise, saying it had deviated from the usual practice.
“The Party is worried about the unknown intentions of the Electoral Commission (EC) considering the challenges we observed at the various centres in the constituencies in our Region,” Mr Donatus Akamugri, the NDC Regional Secretary, who addressed a press conference at Zuarungu in the Bolgatanga East District said.
According to the Regional Secretary, the EC per the Constitutional Instrument 91 (C.I 91) regulation 22, clause (2), was required to provide each registered political party with a copy of the provisional register,
“But into the fifth day of the exhibition exercise, EC has not given NDC a copy of the provisional register.
“The second issue of concern is that without consultations at IPAC, the EC decided to fix the period of the exhibition to last only about one week, which has not also been the case previously”.
Mr Akamugri said in spite of the concerns raised, the Party gave the EC the benefit of the doubt by participating fully in the exercise, and expected that the EC had prepared well to ensure the exercise was done smoothly.
“To our disappointment, our monitoring revealed a lot of challenges on the field. If care is not taken by the EC, a good number of voters will be disenfranchised come 2020 general election,” he said.
He said illegal documents were used for the exhibition exercise and insisted that “This case is seen clearly at the exhibition centres where the registers used are titled final registers for December 2016, but some names of those who registered in 2019 are found in these registers.”
“For example, these can be ascertained in Talensi, Nabdam and Bolga Central Constituencies,” the Regional Secretary disclosed.
He said most exhibition centres received only 2016 final registers without provisional registers of 2019, for example centres in Bongo Constituency, Bawku, Navrongo, Chiana and Paga etc.
Mr Akamugri said in Zebilla and Bolgatanga East Constituencies, most of the exhibition centres did not get their registers to start as stipulated by the EC.
He said some Constituencies in the Builsa South such as Uwasi, Zamsa, Kanjaga among others could not be accessed because of rain.
He said first time voters, were frustrated by the refusal of the EC to provide separate provisional registers, which could have made it easier for checking because the time provided for the exercise by the EC was short.
The Regional Secretary said the EC had not captured first time voters in some registers at some exhibition centres where the provisional 2019 registers had been provided, and cited Kapaniah and Biu Market Squares in the Navrongo Constituency as examples.
“We are using this platform to call on the Chairperson of the EC, Madam Jean Mensah to as a matter of emergency, do something about this exhibition exercise. She is required by the 1992 constitution to obey and operate according to the regulations governing the activities of the EC to ensure free, fair and acceptable outcome of 2020 election results by all parties”.