The West Africa Centre For Counter-Extremism (WACCE) has raised concerns over the uncompromising nature of the Electoral Commission (EC) and the unyielding position of the opposition, National Democratic Congress (NDC), in their resistance to the compilation of the new register which have collectively deepened an already polarised and divisive political atmosphere.

WACCE called on the EC to summon a new spirit, take quick and adequate steps to re-engage with the opposition NDC, the Inter-Party Resistance against New Voter Register (IPRNVR) and all other major stakeholders to reach a broader consensus. It was noted that the EC had announced plans to begin the compilation of the new voters’ register this month despite stiff resistance from the opposition NDC and several civil society organisations. However, the election management body dismissed calls to include the old voter’s ID card and birth certificates as proof of citizenship when the registration exercise begins.

In a statement by WACCE, they said, ‘[WACCE] is learning with deep concern the decision of the [EC] of Ghana to go ahead with the compilation of a new voters’ register under an increasingly divisive atmosphere and widespread stakeholder concerns. WACCE notes that the events and developments leading up to the EC’s decision [have] generated too divisive and a highly polarised political atmosphere unsupportive of a peaceful mass registration exercise at this time’.

‘Notwithstanding the constitutional mandate of the commission to compile and revise the register as provided for in Article 45 of the 1992 constitution, Article 45 (d) equally mandates the commission to engage [and] educate the public sufficiently on the electoral process and its purpose. Such engagements are expected to ensure that the commission carries along…all major stakeholders in their decisions in a manner that engenders national support and goodwill. Unfortunately, the commission has been unsuccessful in its public education and building wider national support over its decision at the present time’, they added.

WACCE recommended that the EC re-engages all major stakeholders to reach a broader consensus and that the re-engagement should go along with enhanced public education and awareness regarding the exercise. WACCE also urged all political parties that their conduct must be geared towards strengthening and building confidence in state institutions.

Source: Ghana Web

Photo source: Ron Mader

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