The Electoral Commission’s (EC) decision not to extend the re-registration of deleted NHIS registrants is ostensibly unconstitutional, the MP for the Effutu Constituency, Alex Afenyo Markin, has argued.
“With specific reference to Article 42, they cannot use administrative directives or discretion and timelines, of which same are unreasonable, to not allow a Ghanaian the right to vote,” he said of the EC on Point Blank, Eyewitness News.
[contextly_sidebar id=”rXWl7sNTCrSHAiAFbPB0Djqe1h1Y1dtU”] Afenyo Markin also explained that as part of the Supreme Court order to delete NHIS registrants from the voters’ register, in order not violate their fundamental electoral rights, the EC was to give adequate notice to those affected by processes of deletion and re-register them.
“This order having been made under Article 2:2 of the constitution therefore takes precedence over any existing statutory provision including CI 91,” he cited from the Judgement of the Supreme Court on the matter.
However, the EC decided it will not extend the deadline for the re-registration exercise despite revealing that only 24, 287 of the deleted NHIS registrants, were re-registered during a 10-day exercise.
The Commission’s Communications Director, Eric Dzakpasu, explained that “there is no evidence that when an extension is granted, the remaining people will come out of their houses or communities to get their name re-registered.”
No apathy in Effutu
But Mr. Afenyo Markin contended that for his constituency of Effutu, “there wasn’t any apathy. There were people [trying to register], we took videos each day.”
With his constituency in mind, the MP had filed a petition to the EC imploring it to extend the re-registration period by 10 days.
Mr. Afenyo Markin complained that the exercise in his constituency has been fraught with power, organisational and logistical challenges which have prevented the EC from capturing as many names as possible.
He recalled that on the final day of the exercise, there were “over 800 people who had not filled their forms at all and over 200 of them who had only filled forms.”
“They should re-open the re-registration in Effutu. We have over 3000 people who are yet to re-register. They could only do 2,263 and it was not the case that they were not there,” the MP lamented.
By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana