Mahama Ayariga, MP for Bawku Central

Member of Parliament for Bawku Central has filed a motion in Parliament seeking the House to reject the Constitutional Instrument (CI) for the impending 2020 elections.

The CI, if passed by Parliament, will allow the EC to compile a new register based on new rules spelt out in it.

The new rules will see the Commission remove the voter’s ID card and the birth certificate as identification documents for the new register.

The notice of motion filed by Mr. Ayariga on behalf of the Minority, requested the House to reject the Public Elections (Registration of Voters) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 C.I. 126, even before the Subsidiary Legislation Committee submits its report on the C.I. to the floor.

The C.I. needs 21 continuous sitting days to mature and is only in its tenth day.

Notice of the motion was submitted to the speaker’s office on Tuesday 19th May and he is yet to fix a date on which the Bawku Central will move the motion on the floor and justify his request.

In an interview, Mr. Ayariga noted that the action of the Minority is essential in order to get government to explain and convince Ghanaians on the need for the new C.I.

He argued that the NDC is indeed against the new voter register because the exercise is totally unnecessary and imposes unnecessary financial burden when such scarce funds could be used for very important ventures.

He said, “Now there are even stronger reasons that we should not carry out a national registration exercise at this moment. Why would you struggle to carry out registration in the midst of a pandemic,” he quizzed?

“It is not just that we as politicians have an interest in it but if you go out there and interview citizens you will find them saying they will not risk their lives for the EC to conduct a registration exercise.”

Mr. Ayariga noted that besides all these discriminatory reasons there is also a very serious health consideration, especially when the same COVID-19 has led to closure of schools and Ghana’s borders.

“So why must we compile a new register, why can’t we fix the old register,” he queried?

He also raised concerns about the decision of the Commission to reject birth certificates, which is a primary document but will accept the passport and the Ghana card.

These two documents, he argued, confirm their basic information of age from the birth certificate and therefore it is illogical that this primary source of the voting age of a potential voter will be discarded.