Electoral Commission Accused of Disenfranchisement in Ongoing Voter Registration

Kofi Bentil, a lawyer and Senior Vice President of IMANI-Africa, has criticized the actions of the Electoral Commission (EC) in the current voter registration process, alleging that it is aimed at disenfranchising many Ghanaians.

According to Mr. Bentil, the EC has a constitutional obligation to expand and execute specific programs and has the necessary resources to do so. He emphasized that any deviation from this constitutional mandate could result in the removal of the Electoral Commissioners from their positions.

Speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile program, Mr. Bentil explained that the issue is not just about neglecting responsibilities but actively obstructing people’s right to register.

“In omission and commission, it’s not a matter of just omitting, like they are not doing anything; the suggestion is that there will be problems with people exercising their rights to register,” he stated.

Mr. Bentil argued that the primary purpose of the EC is to address obstacles and facilitate the voter registration process, so they should proactively implement measures to enhance the exercise.

“The EC was set up to take away those problems, clear the way, and create situations that will enable people to register. So they should actually do things, commit actions that will expand registration,” he emphasized.

He also criticized the use of state resources to undermine public policy objectives, stating, “We should all be mindful when we do some of these things.”

The EC’s decision to conduct the limited voter registration exercise only at its district offices has faced opposition from several political parties, including the National Democratic Congress, Convention People’s Party, All People’s Congress, Liberal Party of Ghana, and the Great Consolidated Popular Party. They have filed a lawsuit against the EC, alleging that the decision would disenfranchise many eligible voters and have called on the Supreme Court to intervene.

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