Respect IPAC Views on Voter Registration, Says Legal Practitioner Amid Controversies”

Bobby Banson, a private legal practitioner, has called on the Electoral Commission (EC) to respect the views of the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) in light of the ongoing controversies surrounding the limited voter registration exercise.

Speaking on Newsfile, Mr. Banson expressed his belief that the EC could have avoided the current lawsuit and other controversies if it had taken into consideration the concerns of numerous political parties and reached an agreement with them.

He emphasized that if the EC wants IPAC to play a meaningful role in the democratic process and not just serve as a rubber stamp, then it should respect the legitimate views of its members.

“The parties that have sued the EC are supposed to be members of the IPAC, but if these things were addressed at that level and what rolled out satisfied all these concerns, we would not have this hullabaloo about this exercise which will now affect the credibility of the EC and even credibility of the officers of the EC,” Mr. Banson said.

He noted that the EC’s decision to proceed with the limited voter registration exercise has raised tensions, as all political parties want their supporters to be registered voters ahead of the elections.

Last week, the Electoral Commission announced the commencement of the 2023 voters’ registration exercise, scheduled to take place from September 12 to October 2 at its district offices across the country. The announcement also included a GH¢10 charge for replacing lost or misplaced voter’s ID cards.

However, many political parties disagreed with holding the exercise at district offices, believing it would limit the registration process and disenfranchise eligible Ghanaian voters.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) and four other political parties subsequently filed a lawsuit against the EC, asserting that the decision would disenfranchise many eligible voters and requesting the Supreme Court to halt the exercise pending a final determination of the matter.

The case is yet to be heard by the court, while concerns about the accessibility and cost of participation in the limited voter registration exercise continue to be raised.

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