June 2, 2020

Gov’t only focused on new “preferred” voter roll – Ablakwa

North Tongu MP Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa

The Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has questioned whether the government is in to transform the country or just perpetuate itself in office.

In a Facebook post on Monday, 1 June 2020, Mr Ablakwa noted: “The 2020 Population and Housing Census, which should have been conducted this year by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) consistent with a ten-year tradition, has been postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19 and after the GSS struggled initially to raise funds from the government.”

“Not many of our leaders appear bothered by this development. The focus is all on how the NIA and the EC can put together a preferred voter register even though a credible register exists.”

According to the North Tongu MP, while “other jurisdictions are uncompromising about data for planning and development ahead of mere political power”, in Ghana, “it is all about political power even when there’s a lack of an updated reliable data to guide the policymakers who secure power”.

“No wonder after throwing away Vision 2020, we remain without a long-term national strategic vision.”

Mr Ablakwa added: “The fundamental question is: are we engaged in a scramble for political power for power sake or we are serious about using political power to engage in evidence-based policymaking to transform our nation?”

Meanwhile, policy think tank IMANI Africa and the Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) have petitioned Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and the Asanteman Traditional Council to intervene in the EC’s decision to compile a new voter register.

The groups say the EC’s move is creating tension in the country, hence the need for them to intervene.

They want Otumfuo and the Council to step in early by calling the EC and the agitated political parties to reach a compromise to avert any future disturbances.

They do not want any Ghanaian to be disenfranchised even if the exercise takes off as planned.

The EC will later this month compile a new voter register for the 2020 general elections.

This has created a stalemate between some political parties, especially the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the Commission.

The NDC and other parties against the new register say it is a move by the EC to rig the elections for the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), an allegation the EC has denied.

The petition was presented to the Asantehene and the Council by the President of IMANI Africa, Mr Franklin Cudjoe and the Executive Director of Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA), Mr Mensah Thompson.

Speaking to the media, Mr Franklin Cudjoe said IMANI is not against the registration but the cost claims of the EC do not justify the procurement of a new register.

He said the existing biometric registration machines are fit for running the 2020 general elections.






Source: classfmonline.com

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