Monday, 24 June

Boycott voter registration exercise - youth organisers

Potential voters registering with the EC

 The Coalition of National Youth Organisers has expressed deep concern over the Electoral Commission's decision to disregard suggestions from key political parties regarding the organisation of the limited registration exercise. 

The coalition, representing the National Youth Organisers of various political parties, highlighted the crucial role of the Ghanaian youth in the electoral process and called for a boycott of the registration exercise due to several pressing concerns.

Mr Osei Kofi Acquah, the General Secretary of the Coalition of National Youth Organisers in a statement dated September 13, 2023, said one of the coalition's main grievances was the Electoral Commission's perceived indifference to the views and concerns raised by political parties through the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC). 

The coalition felt that the commission was sidelining these crucial stakeholders.

“Amidst this discontent, it was noted that some political parties had taken the Electoral Commission to court to challenge the proposed approach to the registration exercise. 

“While the case was pending in court, the Electoral Commission was determined to move forward with its plans,” the coalition said in its statement. 

The statement said this stance was met with criticism from the coalition, who argued that, as a constitutional creation, the Electoral Commission should adhere to the precedent set in cases like the recent dispute between Duffour and the NDC. 

“In that case, the Electoral Commission had stated that they couldn't proceed with their duties if there was a pending court case, to avoid contempt of court,” the statement noted.

The coalition firmly believes that the youth of Ghana should not be disenfranchised and urged the Electoral Commission to make voter registration more accessible. 

To achieve this, it suggested the establishment of temporary polling stations in educational institutions where many young people are currently located. 

This, according to the coalition, would bridge the gap for unemployed and financially unstable youth who have a constitutional right to register to vote.

Furthermore, the coalition called on the Electoral Commission to conduct the registration exercise in polling stations and electoral areas where District Assembly elections were to be held. 

This, it argued, would increase participation in both district assembly and general elections, emphasising that district offices of the Electoral Commission should not be mistaken for polling stations.

The coalition expressed concern about the potential monetisation of the registration process if it took place at the Electoral Commission's district offices. It feared that individuals with political ambitions might resort to offering money to registrants, which could undermine the integrity of the electoral process.


Source: Mensah