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EC is right with abolishment of guarantor system – NPP

The governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has backed the Electoral Commission (EC) in its quest to abolish the guarantor system for voter registration.

Evans Nimako

According to Evans Nimako, the Director of Elections of the NPP, the decision will bring sanctity to the voter register.

“For us at the NPP, this issue has been discussed at the IPAC level. We have no problem with the continuous registration arrangements being put in place by the EC. We believe such arrangements have the answer to the use of the national identification card. We should brace it and work with it because the use of the guarantor system has been contentious”, he said.

“I don’t know why you must have an issue with this arrangement to ensure that we have a register that captures those who must be on it. We think that the EC is on the right path”.

The EC announced that it will no longer use the guarantor system in the continuous voter registration exercises and as a result, the only source of document for the registration will be the Ghana Card.

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According to Samuel Tettey, Deputy Chairman of the Commission in charge of operations, the new registration for the 2024 elections won’t have a guarantor system.

Speaking to the press in Accra, he said the guarantor system is fraught with challenges that will make the register less credible.

“We are not going to compile a new voters register. Rather, we would continuously register voters to update the current voters register to ensure that anyone who wants to register as a voter has the opportunity to do so”.

“This registration exercise unlike the previous registration exercise will be continuous. As such, anyone who has the card can just walk to our offices and register. It is not a periodic or limited registration exercise that could disenfranchise persons who do not have the Ghana Card at the time of the limited exercise. This is an all-year-round process. As such, a person who doesn’t have the Ghana Card today can acquire it tomorrow and simply walk into a district office where he or she intends to vote and register.”

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While urging the National Identification Authority (NIA) to accelerate the printing of the Ghana card to ease the process for potential voters “we call on the NIA to accelerate the pace of the printing of the Ghana cards to make it easy for anyone who is interested in registering with us to do so”, it also debunked assertions that the Ghana Card will be used as an identity card for voting in the 2024 elections.”

The Commission says it will not be compiling a new voter’s register. It is however running a continuous registration, hoping to capture between 450,000-550,000 potential registrants annually.

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