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New Voters’ Register; Parliament Approves Ghana Card ,Passport for identification

Parliament has agreed for the Electoral Commission (EC) to use the Ghana Card and Passports as the only forms of identification for persons registering to vote.

This came as a result of a vote in a 106 from the majority caucus who voted for the motion whiles 96 respectfully from the minority caucus against the motion

The report was presented today 9th June, 2020 in parliament by the Chairman of the Subsidiary Legislation Committee Hon. Dominic Akuritinga Ayine, who called on the house to reject the amendment due to the observations of the Committee which he noted will disenfranchise lots of Ghanaians.

However, the Committee, which considered the amendment, could not arrive at a consensus as to whether or not the exclusion of a driver’s license and the existing voter ID from the amendment was constitutional.

The EC has presented the Public Election (Amendment) Regulation, 2020 (C.I. 126) to Parliament to amend C.I 91 in order to change the current identification requirements.

This means that, the old voter ID will not be valid for registering to vote.

Aside the Ghana Card or passport being acceptable documents for registering, persons who have already been captured on the new voters register can guarantee for others.

Per the Constitutional Instrument that was first put before Parliament, “a person who applies for registration as a voter shall provide as evidence of identification one of the following: a passport, a national identification card, or one voter registration identification guarantee form as set out in Form one of the schedule that has been completed and signed by two registered voters.”

Member of Parliament Bawku Central MP, Mahama Ayariga, was unsuccessfull in getting the House to reject the amendment via a motion  that was rejected by the Speaker of Parliament.

Again, contributing to the motion on the floor of the house, Hon. Ayariga indicated that the amendment of the regulation will render the current voter’s ID invalid.

The house was set in chaos has both caucuses rose to defend it opinion on the need for the compilation of a new voter’s register of which the house must approve the Committee’s report to amend C.I. 126

The Minority leader Hon Haruna Iddrisu giving his remarks lamented over the inability of the Electoral Commission’s chairperson, Mrs. Jean Mensah to be present at the Committee’s meeting.

In view of this, he invoked standing order 113 (2) for a divisional procedure to be undertaken of which the outcome would determine it’s approval.

The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, granted the request from the Minority Leader and the house undertook the divisional procedure of which the outcome was 106-92 and this pave way for the approval of the amendment of C.I. 126.

Story by Mary Quartey

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