Leader of The New Force Nana Kwame Bediako has prayed and petitioned the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) to expand access to the ongoing voter registration exercise.

At a press conference addressed by its leader Nana Kwame Bediako, the new force expressed profound concerns regarding the severe limitations placed on voter registration access for the upcoming 2024 elections.

According to Nana Kwame Bediako, there are significant issues impacting the voter registration exercise, including the inadequate duration of the registration period, limited accessibility to registration centers, and recurring technical challenges. These issues, he says pose a threat to the fundamental right to vote for many eligible citizens and undermine public trust in the electoral system.

Nana Kwame Bediako, also said the democratic principles and the rights of citizens are deeply troubled by the stark reduction in the number of voter registration points.

 The demand by The New Force

The New Force at the press conference said they are compelled to question the rationale behind these restrictive measures of the Electoral Commission.

According to the New Force, the Electoral Commission of Ghana plays a pivotal role in ensuring the integrity and inclusivity of the electoral process, and it is essential that decisions regarding voter registration access are made transparently and with due consideration to the democratic rights of the people.

The New Force, representing the collective voice of the Ghanaian people indicated that they are troubled by the stark reduction in the number of voter registration points, from over 33,000 in previous elections to a mere 1068 centers, representing 3% of the 2020 polling station total.

Nana Kwame Bediako also warned that the refusal of the Electoral Commission to increase access for ongoing voter registration will elicit a series of actions from the New Force until its demand is met.

The New Force argues that this severe limitation, combined with a narrow 20-day window for voter registration, poses a substantial barrier to eligible voters.

“This limitation effectively undermines the fundamental right of Ghanaian citizens to freely choose their leaders through fair and accessible elections,” the petition states.

The New Force questioned the rationale behind the Electoral Commission’s decision to reduce the number of registration points so drastically.

They stressed the importance of the Commission’s role in ensuring the integrity and inclusivity of the electoral process and called for transparency in decision-making.

The New Force urged the Electoral Commission to reconsider its approach and take immediate steps to expand voter registration access.

They drew comparisons to practices in other democracies worldwide, where voter registration remains open and accessible until just weeks before elections. The New Force implores the Commission to follow this example to uphold the democratic rights of Ghanaian citizens.

“The future of our democracy depends on the integrity and inclusivity of our electoral process,” the petition concludes, expressing hope that the Electoral Commission will address these pressing concerns and take action to facilitate fair voter registration for all eligible citizens. Nana Kwame Bediako said.

The ongoing limited voter registration exercise has been hit with a number of challenges but the Electoral Commission has hinted at the possibility of extending the limited voters’ registration period if deemed necessary to accommodate all eligible citizens.

The 21-day exercise, which will end on May 27, 2024, is expected to register 623,000 new entrants who will have the opportunity to exercise their franchise during the December 7th General Elections.

Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/103.5FM/Obed King Gaglo