The General Secretary of the NPP, John Boadu has disclosed that the opposition NDC boycotted the last meeting of the Interparty Advisory Committee (IPAC) held on March 25, 2020, at the EC conference room, citing the Covid situation in the country as their excuse.
According to him, it was at this very meeting of the political parties’ platform with the EC, known as IPAC, that, the Commission discussed details of its proposed amendments to the existing Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Regulations, 2016 (C.I. 91) for the conduct of Presidential and Parliamentary Elections. The proposed amendments, he said, included the decision to exclude the old voters ID card from the requirements for voter registration among other things.
The NDC had, in a Press Conference addressed by its National Chairman, Ofosu Ampofo, on Thursday, May 14, 2020, accused the EC of flouting Regulation 2(3) of C.I. 91 which mandates the Commission to inform political parties on any proposals for the amendments to the Constitutional Instrument (C.I. 91) not later than 21 days before the first day of the national registration of voters.
The largest opposition party proceeded on the basis of this to slam the election management body accusing it of conspiring with the NIA to rig the 2020 general elections for the governing NPP because it had consistently failed to involve the NDC in its processes. They also accused the EC of surreptitiously removing the old ID card as well as birth certificate as part of the requirements for voter registration.
JOHN BOADU SETS THE RECORDS STRAIGHT
However, the General Secretary of the party expressed shock at the conduct of the NDC. He disclosed in a one-on-one interview he granted to the AM Show on the Joy News Channel on Monday, 18th May, 2020, that, the NDC is being desperate and hypocritical. According to him, the NDC has rather chosen not to make itself available for such engagements with the EC.
“The NDC boycotted the last IPAC meeting at which meeting details of the EC’s CI on the registering of voters and the conduct of election 2020 was exhaustively discussed before it was laid in Parliament. How can you boycott a meeting and then months later, hold a press conference accusing the election management body of failing to discuss the CI with political parties? You just can’t understand the NDC’s desperation”, he disclosed.
The NPP Chief Scribe added that, the parties were given ample opportunity to make inputs into the CI, a lot of which were taken on board by the EC in fine-tuning the document. Indeed, according to him, it was based on the inputs that the political parties made at this meeting that compelled the EC to withdraw the initial proposed amendments it had laid before Parliament in order to incorporate the inputs made by the parties.
On the exclusion of the old voters ID card and birth certificate from the requirements for a new voter registration, John Boadu, said, majority of the political parties at this meeting [which the NDC boycotted] agreed with the EC’s proposal to exclude the old ID card and start on a clean slate having justified same.
On the decision not to include the birth certificate as one of the requirements, John Boadu stressed that it birth certificate, has, since the year 1994, never been a requirement for voter registration. It has also not been provided for in C.I. 94. And so, it is disingenuous for the NDC to accuse the EC of deliberately excluding birth certificate from the requirements for voter registration.
On the use of the Ghana card as one of the requirements for voter registration, the NPP General Secretary, John Boadu, who doubles as the party’s Campaign Director of Operations for Election 2020 said, the political parties at the IPAC meeting, did not express any reservations regarding the EC’s decision to maintain the Ghana Card as requirements for voter registration as already provided for in C.I. 91.
NIA AND EC DENY CONSPIRING TO RIG THE 2020 ELECTIONS FOR THE NPP
Meanwhile, both the NIA and the EC have rejected accusations by the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) that it is conspiring to rig the 2020 parliamentary and presidential elections for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), and have dared the NDC to produce the so called evidence of this conspiracy it claims to have. The NDC is yet to respond to this challenge.
Story by Iddi Muhayu-Deen