The call to the Electoral Commission (EC) to embark on an exercise to compile a new voters register should not be misconstrued as pointing accusing fingers at the EC or any group of people.
The call is rather a desire to deepen democracy in the country to ensure free, fair and transparent elections in 2016.
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo made the call at a press conference last Tuesday and reiterated that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) would not resort to any court action, hence the desire of the party for the nation to have credible elections based on electoral reforms recommended by the Supreme Court.
He said the message of the press conference, when summed up, would be “compile a new credible voters register now and it must be compiled in time for 2016 elections.”
Nana Akufo-Addo said it was not the NPP alone that had raised doubts about the current register, but other political parties such as the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and the Progressive People’s Party (PPP).
He explained that the party’s promise to not go to court over elections did not mean they had lost confidence in the judiciary.
The flag bearer said, however, that the party had resolved to pay extra
attention to electoral reforms and the recruitment of polling agents who would be trained to ensure that the electoral process worked.
Nana Akufo-Addo said “it goes without saying and doubt that any innovation the EC has introduced since 1993 has been at the instigation of the NPP”.
He said the introduction of transparent ballot boxes, photo identity card and the biometric registration were all the initiatives of the NPP, which had to meet fierce resistance from the government.
The NPP Presidential candidate said the culture would continue unabated until peace, stability and freedom was achieved in the country.
He said the call for a new register was to spare the country instability and dispute over elections.
Nana Akufo-Addo noted that in March 2015, as the Chairman of ECOWAS, President John Mahama had the opportunity to advise the Togolese government to reschedule their elections because the opposition in Togo said the voters register was flawed.
He appealed to the President to allow the same reforms to take place here in Ghana, by agreeing to calls by the opposition to have a new electoral register.
The National Chairman of the party, Mr Paul Afoko, said the presentation was a significant step in the country’s journey towards democratic consolidation.
He said the NPP had always been in the forefront of the democratic dispensation with innovative ideas in the hope of enhancing and deepening democracy in the country.
He noted that that was a fact nobody could challenge because the party believed as a matter of principle that “elections are meant to freely express oneself and not a moment for drawing swords at each other”.
Mr Afoko said the party had to go to all length and breadth in restraining its youth at the last elections because of the election dispute that characterised the 2012 general election and nobody wanted a repeat of that, hence the need for electoral reforms.