*FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*
*Date:* January 24, 2020
*From:* Africa Centre for Peace Building (Peace Centre)
*To:* All Media Houses
*Subject: EC’s Announcement of Date for Compilation of New Voters’ Register Renders Its Eminent Advisory Committee Useless and Could Highten Tensions In the Country*
The Africa Centre for Peace Building (Peace Centre) has noted with utmost surprise, the controversial decision of the Electoral Commission of Ghana to commence the compilation of a new voter register on April 18, 2020.
The announcement has come at a time that parties opposed to the compilation of the new register have put to hold their protest pending consultations between the EC’s own Eminent Advisory Committee and members of the Commission and the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) on January 30, 2020 to resolve issues that are raising tension of the proposed exercise.
The Peace Centre views the action of the EC as total disrespect and disregard for its Eminent Advisory Committee, other political parties and stakeholders who are raising series of concerns amid seemingly rising tension over the issue.
Announcing April 18, 2020 as the date to start work on the new register when the EAC had intervened and called on other political parties to suspend their public protests with respect to their demonstration of disapproval of the new register to pave way for resolving the issues is the least any public accountability and peace-loving state institution could do. EC’s continued disregard for concerns of stakeholders on this important matter is a recipe for unnecessary suspicions that could lead to tension and violence before, during and after 2020 election.
It is evident that political parties who are against and for the compilation of the new voter register welcomed the initiative of the EAC leading to the Inter-party Resistance against the New Voter’s Register suspending their intended demonstration in Accra after their Kumasi protest.
The Electoral Commission as independent as it must be seen, must not act in a manner that would suggest unfairness towards the sole interest of national groups of persons or political parties but must act in a way that would give it credibility in delivering a free, fair and credible election.
We wish to remind the EC that Elections-related violence in most cases is said to be partly as a result of distrust and lack of confidence by the public in Election Management Bodies.
Ghana has come a long way and the Electoral Commission must ensure it maintains and sustains the trust Ghanaian people reposed in it.
We, therefore, wish to appeal to the Electoral Commission to call off April 18, 2020, to start the compilation of the register ahead of January 30, 2020 IPAC Meeting with the Eminent Advisory Committee to help restore the integrity and confidence reposed in the Eminent Committee and other stakeholders.
Africa Centre for Peace Building (Peace Centre)