Ghana

Allow first-time voters register at various electoral areas …Assembly aspirants to EC

The Coalition of Dis­trict Assembly Aspirants (CODAA) has threatened to take legal action against the Electoral Commission (EC) if it fails to allow first-time voters to register in the various electoral areas. According to the Coalition, the EC’s decision that first-time voters should register at the various District offices of the EC without considering the cost involved was inhuman.

The Coalition also stressed the need for the Commission to extend the 21-day registration period to enable it to achieve it’s target of registering 1,350,000 new voters.

The Convener of CODAA, Mr Mawunyo Agbe who made the threat at a briefing in Ho said the Coalition viewed the EC decision as frivolous and would not promote local governance in the country.

Mr Mawunyo observed that citizen participation in District Assembly elections by eligible voters was key to the promotion of democracy, and added that the decision of the EC was in­sensitive by demanding that that 18-year-old persons should travel long distances to their respec­tive District Electoral Offices to register with two guarantors without considering the cost involved.

He stressed that it was clear to the Coalition that the EC did not consider the district level elections as equally important as other elections that the EC was mandated by law to organise and supervise.

Mr Mawunyo emphatically said the EC could not achieve it’s target of registering 1,350, 000 new voters it was seeking to achieve and could only end up registering 900, 000 persons which would be a 40 per cent short of the EC set target.

According to him, previous District Level Election (DLE) were not encouraging, and the 2019 DLE figures showed less than 40 per cent turnout across the country.

He said the EC should be guided by the abysmal perfor­mance before arriving at the decision particularly for eligible voters to register at the District EC Offices.

Mr Mawunyo on behalf of the Coalition, urged the EC to allow the first time voters to register at the electoral areas to help whip up the enthusiasm in voters so as not to disenfranchise eligible new voters in the upcoming district level elections

FROM LAWRENCE MARKWEI, HO

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