A meeting held by the Electoral Commission (EC) with the Advisory Committee of Eminent Persons and the Interparty Advisory Committee (IPAC) to find common ground on the upcoming compilation of a new voters roll has ended in a stalemate.
The biggest opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and some smaller political parties are fiercely opposed to the decision by the election management board – the EC, to conduct this year’s general election with a new voters register.
The Advisory Committee has therefore called the meeting to help the key stakeholders to agree on the forward but those for and against a new register appear to have stuck to their hardline positions.
In attendance, were the Chairperson of the EC, Mrs. Jean Mensa, representatives of some political parties including the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), NDC, Convention People’s Party (CPP), People’s National Convention (PNC), Ghana Freedom Party (GFP), All People’s Congress (APC), Democratic People’s Party (DPP), the Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).
Mr. Justice Emile Short, Chairman of the Advisory Committee, told the media that the Committee would be issuing a communique on the outcome as well as its advice to the EC.
Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the General Secretary of the NDC, told journalists that he found it unfortunate that the CSO’s were denied the opportunity to make presentations at the closed door meeting.
He said those CSOs had been key players in the nation’s democratic governance and for that matter it was vital to have heard their position.
According to him, the Advisory Committee of Eminent Persons, after listening to the presentations by all sides said that they believed each side had made very reasonable contributions and so they were going to formulate their advice and present it to the EC.
Mr Yaw Buabeng Asamoah, the Director of Communications, NPP, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that nine political parties present at the meeting, including the ruling party, said they backed the EC’s decision, while the NDC and four others, said they were not in favour.
Two other parties, however, did not have any position on the new register.
Mr. Osei Bonsu Amoah, a leading Member of the NPP and Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, said the EC was an independent creature of the Constitution, and could go ahead with its decisions if funding had been provided.
Hajia Hamdatu Ibrahim, Acting, National Chairperson of the CPP, said her party was taking a neutral stand on the issue.