Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia has appealed to Ghanaians, especially the youth, to turn out in their numbers to register for their names to be on the electoral register of the Electoral Commission, which has begun a nationwide registration exercise in their district offices across the country.
In a Facebook post published yesterday, Dr. Bawumia said, “the right to vote starts with the responsibility of registering with the Electoral Commission (EC).
“I urge citizens just turned 18 years old or adults of voting age who have not yet registered to take advantage of the registration exercise starting today, September 12, across all EC district offices and register.”
The 21-day exercise, which runs from 8am to 5pm each day, including weekends, is scheduled to end on 2 October.
The EC has set a target of registering at least 1.35 million people of voting age in the 2023 exercise, based on its estimation that roughly this number has reached the age of 18 since the last registration exercise in 2020.
Meanwhile, the EC is facing legal action as it has been taken to an Accra High Court for contempt following its decision to proceed with the limited voter registration exercise despite the existence of an interlocutory injunction filed against the Commission.
The interlocutory injunction was secured on Friday, September 8 by a resident of Otsebleku near Afienya, Ayitah Precious, who is not a registered voter. She obtained the injunction to prevent the voter registration exercise from commencing, especially in the districts.
Ayitah Precious in her writ emphasised that her place of residence is located approximately 44.3 kilometres from the EC’s District office in Prampram when using the Accra-Aflao road, and about 37.3 kilometres when using the Akosombo-Accra road and indicated she cannot afford the cost of travelling the distance to have her registration done.
She argued that it would have been more convenient if the registration had been conducted in her electoral area and replicated across the country to ensure new applicants can go through the process without incurring costs which will likely disenfranchise some applicants in the EC’s limited voter registration exercise.
The court granted her relief and injuncted the process but the Electoral Commissioner and her deputies went ahead to issue notices of the exercise which commences yesterday.
Ayitah Precious not being satisfied with the blatant disregard of the court’s ruling, went back to the High Court on Monday to request that Jean Adukwei Mensa, the Chair of the Commission, along with her two deputies, Dr. Eric Bossman Asare and Samuel Tettey, be cited for contempt of court.
She is also seeking imprisonment for the three EC officials, arguing that any action or conduct to continue the registration process will deny some Ghanaians their right to vote.
A copy of the suit by Precious Ayitah, filed at the registry of the high court, states that the preliminary hearing of the case will take place on Monday 16 October 2023.
The lawyer representing the applicant is Nii Kpakpo Samoa Addo.