Mrs Jean Mensa, EC Boss

The Electoral Commission (EC) and the National Identification Authority (NIA) have dismissed allegations by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) that they are conniving to rig the 2020 elections in favour of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).

At a news conference in Accra on Thursday, the main opposition NDC led by its national chairman Samuel Ofosu Ampofo accused the two state institutions of scheming to steal the next general election for the governing party.

However, in a strongly-worded statement issued by its Acting Director of Public Affairs, Sylvia Annoh, the EC took NDC to the cleaners, indicating it was impossible to conspire with any political party or institution to rig elections because the electoral processes remain transparent at all levels.

It expressed displeasure at what it noted are calculated attempts by the NDC to peddle untruths and falsehoods aimed at tarnishing its image and causing disaffection.

Prof Ken Agyeman Attafuah, NIA Executive Director

The EC noted that as an independent body, it is mandated to conduct free, fair and transparent elections within the confines of the law and will continue to perform its functions as such without fear or favour.

The EC noted that the amendment of CI 91, which is currently in Parliament for applicants to resort to the use of the Ghanaian Passport and the Ghana Card, is imperative in order to aid in the elimination of unqualified names in the register.

“Further, an applicant who does not have the Ghana card or Passport may resort to obtaining two guarantors to facilitate their registration and therefore, the exclusion of the Voter ID card as a requirement will not lead to suppression of votes.

“Moreover, the new CI, if passed by Parliament, will afford guarantors the opportunity to guarantee for upwards of ten applicants instead of five as stipulated in the current CI,” the release said.

According to the Commission, this makes it possible for applicants without Ghana card and passports to also register.

It stressed that it does not require the services of Commissioners of Oath during the registration of voters as alluded to by the NDC chairman.

“It must be put on record that the Ghana card has been a requirement in the current CI since 2012.

“Additionally, the Birth Certificate has never been used as a requirement since 1995 because it does not contain a photograph for purposes of identification.”

The EC argued that no illegality has been perpetuated for selecting Thales (DIS) as a vendor because the relevant processes were executed in strict adherence to the procurement law and in a transparent manner.

The release assured the Commission will strictly adhere to the safety protocols spelt out by the Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Health on the registration exercise in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It indicated that the cluster system, which was adopted in 2012 for the voters’ registration exercise did not lead to overcrowding and expressed surprise the NDC is claiming otherwise since the system does not seek to do away with registration at each polling station.

The EC assured all stakeholders of its determination to deliver free, fair and credible presidential and parliamentary elections on December 7 as mandated by law.

NIA’s rebuttal

Responding to NDC at a news conference in Accra on Friday, the NIA Executive Director Professor Ken Attafuah said it was a “disturbing allegation that the NIA, in concert with the Electoral Commission, embarked on an election-rigging agenda in order to benefit the New Patriotic Party, and most disturbingly, to disenfranchise a significant portion of the Ghanaian populace from their rights to exercise their franchise”.

He said the NIA was not in the business of conspiring with individuals or institutions to rig elections for any political party or government.

“I want to assure the good people of this country that the NIA is not involved in any such criminal design or enterprise with the EC, with the government of Ghana or any with any person or entity whatsoever described. There is, in short, no such conspiracy, and, perhaps, any person or institution alleging such a criminal conspiracy has a duty to report same to the police”.