The governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) says the Electoral Commission’s (EC) move to begin registering Senior High School (SHS) students in schools without registration centres breaches no law.
According to the Director of Elections and Research for the NPP, Evans Nimako, the EC is not creating new registration centres as being speculated by the opposition National Democratic Congress.
“As of the start of the registration exercise, the EC provided us with the movement schedule which comprises of all the 33,367 polling stations which will serve as registration centres. We all know that we are not in normal times so in previous registration exercises our brothers and sisters in the Senior High Schools move out to registration centres within the catchment areas of the school. In view of the fact that senior high students cannot move out, it becomes difficult for them to access the registration centres within the catchment areas. And so if the Electoral Commission comes out with the innovation that instead of students moving out, they will rather move their registration centre to schools for them to have their franchise assured, it beats my imagination if anybody wants to disagree with this arrangement.”
“The EC has the mobile registration team so it’s just an issue of the registration kits that will be moved to the campus to get them registered. They are also Ghanaians who are also eligible to vote under the law so do you want to disenfranchise them and say that because they cannot move out of the registration centre, you will deny them? Listening to the Electoral Commission, the reason I got from my General Secretary is that the EC is not creating new polling centres so if the EC is moving the registration kits there to have them registered I don’t think it flouts any law.”
EC’s decision to register SHS students in schools is illegal
On the same issue, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has raised concerns about the Electoral Commission’s (EC) move saying it wasn’t part of the gazetted list thereby making it illegal.
The Deputy General Secretary of the party, Peter Boamah Otukonor in a Citi News interview said these newly created centres have not been gazetted to allow for their use in the ongoing exercise.
“As you may already know, some of the schools are registration centres already and they have been gazetted so the ones that are not registration centres and have not been gazetted, any registration that is conducted on those campuses are null and void and it creates problems.”
EC to proceed with registration plans
Meanwhile, an official statement by the electoral management body issued today, Thursday, July 9, 2020, indicated that the two-exercise which ends on Saturday, July 11, 2020, is scheduled to be rolled out in senior high schools.
“The Electoral Commission wishes to inform the general public that, it will embark on a two-day registration exercise for all eligible Senior High School students across the country. This registration will take place in all Senior High Schools that do not have polling stations (registration centres) within the schools,” the EC said.
It further added that all students who are 18 years and above and are eligible for the card have been asked to present their National Identification Card (Ghana Card) or Ghana Passport for the registration process.