Andrew Mercer, a member of Sekondi’s constituency, said that criticism of the Electoral Commission’s move to make Ghanaian cards and passports the only form of identification for registration in the new voter register was baseless.
The Electoral Commission was heavily criticized after its decision to submit to the Parliament of the Ordinance on General Elections (Amendments) (C.I. 126) amending CI 91 to amend the identification requirements adopted in 2016.
Mercer told Accra-based Media House that the proposed changes were not problematic as suggested. He also said that making a new list is not a new exercise that deserves strong criticism from various groups and individuals.
“Is this the first time we have a new list in this country? We have compiled a list of Ghanaians who cannot vote once, twice, or three times. Four times. What’s the problem? Why is the danger from violence and chaos?”
“In any event, prior to us issuing our first voter ID cards, we did not have IDs but we registered. At the time, less than 1.5 million people had passports in the country but we registered. Did hell break loose then? So what is the big deal if the Electoral Commission in their wisdom decides to exclude the Voters ID cards just so they can produce a new document?” he asked. Mr. Mercer also wondered why the Minority side in Parliament had suddenly backtracked on its support of the amendment to make Ghana Card and Passports the only forms of identification.
“Read the Hansard and look at the contributions of Inusah Fuseini, Mahama Ayariga, and Armah Kofi Buah in support of the amendment to take out the voter ID card and NHIS card. NDC members of Parliament were vociferous in their support because it made sense.”
His comments follow a Bawku lawmaker Mahama Ayariga’s rejection of the Electoral Commission proposal to make a Ghanaian card and passport the only form of identification before someone can be added to the new voter list.
The Electoral Commission conveyed to Parliament the regulations on general elections (amendments) (C.I. 126) which amended CI 91 to change identification requirements that were passed in 2016.
According to a request from Mr. Ayariga, he asked Parliament to “reject the general election (voter registration) (amendment), rule 2020 (CI 126) in accordance with rule 11 (7).) (C) Ghana’s Constitution in 1992. “