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Voter registration plan makes Ghana Card ‘political tool,’ claims opposition

Voter registration plan makes Ghana Card ‘political tool,’ claims opposition

Ghana’s main opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), says it strongly stands against an ongoing move to make the country’s national ID (Ghana Card) the only credential required for voter registration ahead of general elections in December.

The Electoral Commission (EC) raised the proposal last year through a Constitutional Instrument presented to parliament for examination.

There has been no conclusive move on the proposal yet given the strong disapproval it has attracted, including from lawmakers.

The EC however has been pressing on with the idea, saying it is part of its efforts to sanitize the voter registration process which has often been plagued by reports of foreigners and minors enrolling to vote.

The latest opposing voice regarding the plan is now coming from the presidential candidate of the NDC and former President John Dramani Mahama, who was speaking recently during a minority caucus workshop in the Volta Region, 3News reports.

Mahama is quoted as saying that should the EC insist on going ahead with the plan, the NDC “will offer the stiffest opposition” yet. According to Mahama, making the Ghana Card the sole credential for voter registration will disenfranchise citizens as not everyone has the digital ID. He also observed that even for those who have enrolled for the card, not all of them have been able to collect it.

“The Ghana Card is a relatively new feature of our national life and its merit in the scheme of things. At the moment, it is being blemished more as a political tool around in all manners fashioned towards elections,” said Mahama as quoted by Adom Online.

He added: “Until full and nearly total coverage is achieved in the rollout of the Ghana Card, room must be made for those who are yet to be served to exercise their democratic right of voting. They cannot be excused from the voter’s register due to no fault of theirs.”

Meanwhile, the NDC presidential candidate has also suggested that a mechanism be put in place to enable political parties keep a close eye on the activities of the National Identification Authority (NIA) in order to check cases of fraud and voter exploitation.

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