The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has rejected the Electoral Commission’s assertions that it did not provide ample evidence to support its claims that the voters’ register is bloated with nearly 76,000 names of Togolese nationals.
The NPP, together with other parties and civil society organisations, has been at the forefront of calls for a new voters’ register for the 2016 polls.
The party amongst others argue that the register is bloated with names of minors and foreign nationals. In a petition to the EC, it thus provided a soft copy of what it called the Togolese Voters’ register as evidence.
But the five-member panel set up by the EC to assess the demand for new voters’ register said the NPP’s evidence was not reliable data.The EC in conclusion said the NPP’s claims were unconvincing hence it cannot proceed to create a new register, but would rather ensure an audit to present a credible electoral roll for the polls.
But the NPP at a news conference on Thursday to respond to the EC’s position, defended the evidence it [provided to the EC, and said the EC’s response was rather unfortunate.
Peter Mac Manu, a former party Chairman and now Manager for Nana Addo’s campaign team, asked the EC not to ignore the deafening calls for a new register since it is in the interest of the country and not the party.
He asked the EC to halt the attempts to clean the register until a consensus is reached.
The EC says that and I quote “in examining the identity and statues of the 70,000 Togolese alleged to be on Ghana’s register, the EC found that they were all duly registered during the mass registration period in 2012. It goes on to argue that most of the voters were registered in districts in Volta and Northern regions. Our conclusion from this examination is that, the voters are duly qualified under the laws of Ghana to be on the register.”
Mr. Manu argued that “so their [EC] internal audit processes say that these people were duly registered so nothing could be done. Why don’t they call in an external auditor to audit their final product and see whether it meets the standards? That’s what we are saying. We want the EC to come again on this by showing us the methods it used to establish that every one of the 76,000 people is a Ghanaian national. They should tell us how they established the fact that they are Ghanaians when they are also found on Togolese register.”
“Again, for the EC to say that the NPP didn’t provide any evidence of the citizenship status of those people is mindboggling. The NPP could not have done that because it is the duty of the EC and other state bodies to crosscheck and confirm the citizenship status of these persons who also appear in the register of Togo. The EC didn’t provide a document on the citizenship of any of those people.”
Mr. Mac Manu said if the EC really wanted to do a credible job on the citizenship disagreement of the Togolese nationals; it could have done so in conjunction with state agencies like the Ghana Immigration