The General Secretary of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia, says any attempt to replace the current voters’ register may open the floodgates for the register to be compromised the more.
He argued that the same motivation that led to political parties sponsoring minors to register to vote still exist and compiling a fresh register will only create avenues for more minors to be registered.
Asiedu Nketia was discussing calls for a new voters’ register on Joy FM and MultiTV’s news analysis programme, Newsfile, Saturday, August 15, 2015.
The opposition New Patriotic Party has been pushing for the compilation of a new register, contending that the current one is so flawed it cannot be relied on credible for elections next year.
Asiedu Nketia said it was generally agreed before the 2012 poll that there were minors on the register used for the presidential and parliamentary elections.
He, however, maintained that “as we sit here today we do not have a better way to stop minors from registering.”
He said in any case persons who registered in 2012 (if they were 14 at the time), would turn 18 in 2016 and would thus be qualified.
“Listening to Kwabena, it reinforces my belief that the register is credible and indeed they have nothing against the register because all the arguments I have heard, none is compelling enough to warrant the replacement of the voters’ register,” he stressed.
The NPP General Secretary has been seeking the support of smaller political parties in his campaign to have voters’ register replaced and got endorsements from the People’s National Convention and the Convention People’s Party.
Mr. Asiedu Nketia believes those endorsements do not mean much; “when you lose the argument, you want to go round to get many people to sing the same story to give it credibility.”
He insisted that the NPP’s calculations which informed its opinion that the register is flawed were based on faulty presumptions.
The NPP argues that with a voter population of about 14 million, Ghana has a questionable and statistically indefensible rate of 56 percent of its population being above 18 years.
But Asiedu Nketia says this calculation is itself statistically challenged because the 2010 population census based on which the NPP made its calculations is no more credible than the voters’ register.
He enumerated the challenges that beset the census process and contends that the compilation of the voters’ register went through far more rigorous scrutiny.
In his opinion, the voters’ register is more credible and does not need to be replaced.