The National Democratic Congress (NDC) says it has no knowledge of the decision of the Electoral Commission (EC) to use Ghana Card as the sole identification document for voter registration.
A statement issued by Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, the NDC National Chairman, copied to the Ghana News Agency said the attention of the NDC had been drawn to news attributed to officials of the EC that the Commission had agreed with political parties and civil society organisations that the Ghana Card should be the sole document for the impending limited voter registration exercise.
"For the avoidance of doubt, the NDC wishes to state, unequivocally, that it has not been a party to any such consultation or meeting in whatsoever form that resulted in any such decision," it said.
"The NDC will fully apprise the public of the implications of the statements made by the Electoral Commission in the coming days on this absurd and unreasonable this decision of the EC."
It said in the meantime, the Party wishes to use this opportunity to remind the EC that under Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution, every Ghanaian of 18 years and above and of sound mind was entitled to register as a voter for the purposes of elections.
The statement said this right to register and exercise one’s franchise was an inalienable right that should not be denied citizens who qualify to exercise same.
It said again, Article 45(e) of the Constitution enjoins the EC to undertake programmes for the expansion of the registration of voters.
"It is for this reason that the NDC cannot be a party to any decision that seeks to constrict access to the electoral roll or disenfranchise qualified citizens from joining the electoral roll," it said.
The statement noted that the Party agrees with the venerable former Chairman of the EC of Ghana, Dr Afari Gyan that any attempt by the EC to use Ghana Card as the sole document for voter registration would lead to the disenfranchisement of millions of Ghanaians.
"We are not oblivious of the challenges millions of Ghanaians are going through to obtain Ghana Cards."
It said the recent pandemonium that characterized registration centres due to the unrealistic deadlines for SIM registration was a case in point.
The statement said it was worthy of note, that according to data from the National Identification Authority, only 16,654,072 million Ghanaians out of a national population of about 31 million had registered for the Ghana card as at July 2022.
Adding that of this number, only 13,316,612 million of them had been issued with their Ghana cards.
The statement said it was obvious from this data, that there were many Ghanaians who have just turned 18 years or would turn 18 years by the next limited registration period who may not have a Ghana card, and therefore, any decision that seeks to make the Ghana card the sole identification document for voter registration would disenfranchise many eligible voters.
It said as the public may be aware, Ghana’s National Security Strategy issued by the National Security Ministry identifies as a major risk to Ghana’s peace and security, “mistrust in the electoral process.”
It said: “the suspicion of collusion between the ruling party and the EC to rig elections for the ruling party continues to drive the situation towards dispute and potential violence.”
"The strategy further urged the Electoral Commission to 'identify the sources of public mistrust in its electioneering systems and processes and take necessary action or make recommendations for addressing them'."
The statement said it was for this reason that the NDC wished to caution the EC to be circumspect in its actions and inactions since they had far reaching implications for the peace and security of the country.
"We wish to assure Ghanaians that the NDC will not sit aloof for the New Patriotic Party Government to collude with EC to rig the 2024 elections and inflict more pain and hardships on them," it said.
"We are therefore urging our agitated supporters to remain calm as we take all legitimate and appropriate steps to ensure that they are not disenfranchised."