Parliament Approves EC’s C.I 126 By “Majority Decision”; No Birth Certificate, Voter Id For 2020 Registration
Parliament has by a majority decision, approved the report of the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation on the Public Elections (Registration of Voters) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (C. I 126) to allow the Instrument to come into force after 21 sitting days of Parliament which will mature on Wednesday 10th June 2020, following the laying of the C.I 126 before Parliament on 31st March 2020.
Ninety-two (92) members voted against the adoption of the committee’s report, while 106 members of the Majority side of the House voted in support of the C.I.
Chairman of the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation Hon Dr. Dominic Ayine and MP for Bolgatanga East Hon Dominic Ayine moved the motion for the adoption of the report of the committee in the House, whilst Hon Yaw Buabeng Asamoah, Ranking Member of the Committee and MP for Adenta seconded the motion.
The C.I 126 seeks to amend the Public Elections ( Registration of Voters ) Regulations 2016 in conformity with the decision of the Supreme Court on the subject matter by compiling a new voters register, according to the report of the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation.
It gives legal backing to the plans by the EC to compile a new registration of voters.
By C.I 126, the Electoral Commission is excluding or prohibiting the use of a driver’s license or the existing voter identification card as evidence of identity in the registration of a voter as contained in the existing Constitutional Instrument ( C.I 91 ) and allow the use of Ghana Card issued by the NIA and passport for registration as a voter.
Furthermore, a registered voter may guarantee for ten persons to register under C.I 126.
Minority Members of Parliament kicked against the adoption of the committee’s report on the ground that it will disenfranchise many prospective voters as they cannot register as voters.
The MP for Bawku Central Hon Mahama Ayariga said C.I 126 is “restrictive and will not give citizens of Ghana a fair opportunity to register as voters” for the election.
Hon Haruna Iddrisu commented on the issue and expressed the same concern.
However, majority members of Parliament supported the adoption of the Committee’s report to allow C.I. 126 to come into effect from Wednesday 10th June 2020.
Hon Yaw Buabeng Asamoah in his contribution to the debate on the motion said the “approval of C.I 126 by Parliament will enable the Electoral Commission to discharge its duties lawfully with regard to the conduct of the December 7th Election“.
The Majority Leader and MP for Suame Hon Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu said the arguments made by the Minority Members against C.I 126 are “weak and not convincing“.
“….C.I 126 will not disenfranchise Ghanaians,” he added.