As a government-related think tank, the Danquah Institute has criticized the lack of clarity in reports from the Electoral Commission (EC) regarding voter registration and election-related disputes.
At a press conference on Monday 1 June 2020, the agency’s executive director, Richard Ahiagbah, said that the failure of the Electoral Commission’s communication had contributed to general concerns about the issue.
“We believe that educating the public and raising awareness about the EC is the main reason why many Ghanaians are worried and skeptical about creating a new voter list.”
“The Electoral Commission’s public relations work has not calmed the coalition of civil society organizations and several political parties,” Ahiagbah said.
One of the controversial issues is the EC’s intention to make Ghana cards and passports the only valid form of requirements to registration on the voter register before registration in June.
The Commission submitted to Parliament the Ordinance on General Elections (Amendments) (C.I. 126) to discuss C.I. 91 to change.
This raises concerns among observers and political interest groups that a large number of Ghanaians may not qualify to register because the National Identification Authority has not yet completed the registration process given the disruption caused by the new coronavirus.
This even led the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to accuse the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) of conniving with the Electoral Commission and the National Identification Authority (NSA) to carry out the 2020 general election to their advantage.
Regarding complaints about identification requirements, Mr. Ahiagbah said: “This is an unnecessary dispute that we must intervene because the European Commission is not doing its public relations duties as it should.”
He, therefore, urged the Electoral Commission to be open to involvement and “objectively evaluate recommendations from leading civil society organizations and members of anti-corruption coalitions”.