The Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana wants to compile a new votersâ€™ register using passports and the national identification card as the only requirements for citizens to get registered on the electoral roll whilst invalidating old voter identification cards.
However the leading opposition party, the National Democratic Congress has vehemently disagreed saying the use of the old voter ID by citizens for the migration onto a new voters roll is an â€œaccrued right.â€
Member of the communications and legal teams of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Abraham Amaliba is of the opinion that the Electoral Commission (EC) cannot just up and discard the long-standing convention.
He made these comments on Happy98.9 FMâ€™s Happy Morning Show with Samuel Eshun earlier today. â€œThe old votersâ€™ register and card cannot be denied as source documents for the compilation of a new votersâ€™ register. This is an accrued right which cannot be taken from citizens.â€
He explained that since 1992, the old votersâ€™ register is used as a source document whenever a new one is being compiled and the names of citizens can never be deleted or rendered invalid except the individuals are deceased.
Comparing the register to a marriage register, the lawyer explained that just like a marriage register and certificate proves marriage to someone, so is the voter ID and register. Just as the compiling of a new marriage register does not mean marriages in the old register are dissolved, so does an old voter ID and register remain super valid when a new one is being compiled. â€œWhat the EC is doing is like saying your marriage and certificate is invalid when a new register is being done. But those with their names already in the register have accrued right to still have their names there,â€ he reiterated
The lawyer who was pained by the ECâ€™s decision disclosed when the EC presented the Constitutional Instrument (CI) to parliament to require them to make the passport and national ID the requirements for compiling the new votersâ€™ register, it was not fought because everyone presumed these two (2) requirements were going to be used alongside the old voter ID.
The NDC insists that should the EC be allowed to compile the new voter register with the passport and national ID as the only requirements, most Ghanaians will be disenfranchised.
Accrued rights refer to rights that are established and backed by legal authority and are capable of demanding remedy to any wrongs committed.