Deputy Communication Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Godwin Ako Gunn, believes that the Electoral Commission’s (EC) decision to hold voter registration in just district offices for those over the age of 18 is a horrible one.
He argued that the action is nothing more than voter suppression aimed at suppressing votes.
The EC stated this week that the voter registration period for those above the age of 18 will run from Tuesday, September 12 through Monday, October 2, 2023.
The EC further announced that the exercise will be conducted at all 268 district offices across the nation.
The commission said that the District Level Elections will be held on Tuesday, December 19, 2023.
Apart from the Nkoranza North and Nkoranza South districts in the Bono East Region where the elections will not take place, all other Electoral Areas totalling 6,272 will have their elections on December 19.
The Electoral Commission is hoping to register 1,350,000 new voters by the close of the Registration exercise this year.
In response, Ako Gunn remarked that this is a big challenge because it will prevent some new unregistered voters from registering.
He told Nyankonton Mu Nsem on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm that the best method would be for the EC to facilitate registration in all polling centres across the country.
He stated that some villages have residents who live far from the district offices and must travel by boat, bus, or other methods to go to the district offices.
He stated that “only in Accra, Kumasi, and Takoradi and other cities are district offices closer to the people.” However, in certain Ghanaian communities, residents must travel by boat, canoe, or bus to reach the district offices. We have not registered new voters for the past three years, so you can anticipate the number of new voters who will participate in the election.
These are some of the issues we’ve had with the EC, and our point is that we shouldn’t be doing this. The registration exercise should extend to all centres rather than just their district offices. Even if we organise the registration process in a week, it must include all of the centres.”
“Sometimes they make things so difficult for political parties that it’s as if they (EC) don’t care,” he continued. All of this has been planned on purpose to prevent more voters from voting because the candidate for whom they are working would not be defeated.”
He stated that the NDC has spoken to branch and constituency executives to conduct meetings and ensure that Ghanaians are informed about the registration since the EC will not do so.
“These concerns we have raised are not about the NDC or the NPP,” he stated. This will not happen if you have no malevolent intentions or believe in justice. That is the pitiful aspect of the current EC Commissioner.”