Five political parties with no representation in Parliament have endorsed the new Constitutional Instrument (CI) proposed by the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana for the 2024 general elections.
The Political Parties namely, the Liberal Party of Ghana, LPG, The Great Consolidated peoples Party GCPP, All People Congress APC , the National Democratic Party NDP and the Peoples National Convention PNC at a joint press conference said the content of the new CI comprehensively discussed at various Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) Meetings and accepted by all the political parties.
According to the political parties, there was a consensus on the new CI between all the political parties and the electoral commission, and wondered why other political parties have been opposing its introduction.
“The discussions for a new Constitutional Instrument to introduce the National Identification card as evidence of identity to apply for voter registration started somewhere October 2021. This was preceded by a 2-day retreat the Electoral Commission held at Alisa hotel in April to discuss the 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary elections,” the parties said.
The parties disclosed that the Electoral Commission wrote to 24 political parties to inform them to attend an IPAC meeting on November 24, 2021, to discuss a draft of the new C.I., which was attached to their letter.
“We all engaged in a lot of deliberations and series of meetings, which included civil society organisations for almost a year and resolved to accept to use the National Identification Card as evidence of identification to anyone who applies for registration as a voter,” the statement said.
“Friends from the media, between November 2018 and August 2022, the Electoral Commission set up a Sub-committee of the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) to discuss a draft C.I. on the Registration of Voters… initial meetings to which the NDC was invited did not materialise, only for the party to be informed in August 2022 that this proposed C.I. was ready for presentation to Parliament. In other words, the NDC had been completely excluded from the process of preparing the C.I.”
“We wish to inform the general public, especially the teeming supporters of the NDC that their leaders are doing them a great disservice,” the parties warned.
They argued that the C.I. was discussed openly at IPAC for almost a year and each party or representative of political party, and civil society organization had the opportunity to contribute to the discussions.
“We, therefore, use this medium to call on Parliament to ensure the new C.I. is laid to help guarantee the integrity and credibility of our voters register and reduce the chaos at registration centers. The lives of voters matter and we need to protect the and ensure agitations are reduced to the barest minimum,” the parties said.