George Loh defends NDC’s decision to partake in voter registration pilot
The Regional Vice Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Volta Region, George Loh, has backed the party’s decision to partake in the nationwide pilot voter registration exercise held by the Electoral Commission (EC) on Tuesday, June 2, 2020.
According to him, party officials in all the regions, and not just him, took part in the exercise to have more proof to make it easier when defending their arguments on why the new register is not needed.
People had earlier rumoured that Mr. Loh had betrayed his party by taking part in the same exercise that they have been protesting against for several months now.
But the former North Dayi MP, who participated in the registration at the EC’s office in Ho, on Eyewitness News clarified that he only did that to gather evidence to back the party’s claims.
He said he only “wanted to be sure” that the EC would or would not do what they claimed they will do.
“So if they are piloting what they are saying are new machines, don’t we deserve to know what kind of things they are doing and if there are any hunky punky games, we prepare ourselves? So all those doing mischief with the thing should stop because the card they even gave is a dummy card. I cannot even use it for any election,” he insisted.
Listing the many problems he encountered with the exercise, Mr. Loh pointed out that in the long run, the NDC now had the proof they needed to further challenge the Electoral Commission, as he found many faults with the whole process.
“I spent close to 20 minutes even going through the process that was bad. In the middle of the process, they had to carry the tables and everything because rains were coming. they were talking about facial recognition which we didn’t see. They were not even forthcoming with answers to questions. You ask a question and they don’t want to talk because I believe they’ve been instructed not to answer pertinent questions.”
He continued, “For me, the important thing is that the exercise is a confirmation of our stance as NDC that we are on the right track in opposing a totally new register. Because from what I went through, even the 700,000 that we anticipate to happen in the limited registration would be a problem, let alone 18 million Ghanaians that would have to be registered, coupled with people not having a Ghana card and passport. When I went, I deliberately said I didn’t have any NIA card or passport. So now they had to look for people to come and vouch for me and that process in itself took some time and it was problematic. So clearly, we are saying that we have been vindicated.”
In the Ashanti Region
Similarly in the Ashanti Region, the Secretary for the NDC, Kwame Zu raised concerns with the fact that most of the persons taking part in the pilot exercise in his area were EC officers.
“It is a controlled atmosphere that may not be representative of a typical registration atmosphere,” he noted.
Kwame Zu further indicated that NDC in the Ashanti Region will formally make their observations known to the public on the pilot exercise.
Pilot registration exercise
The Electoral Commission on Tuesday began a pilot registration exercise nationwide ahead of the expected voter registration exercise later in June.
A mix of residents, EC officers and political party officials took part in the exercise nationwide.
According to the EC, the essence of the exercise is to identify problems associated with the new electoral roll system and find ways of mitigating them.
The Commission is expected to continue the exercise today, Wednesday.