Afari-Gyan urges Jean Mensa’s EC not to eliminate the guarantor system

Former Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, has given advice to the election management body led by Jean Mensa, saying that they should not get rid of the guarantor system for the continuous voter registration activity.

The vast majority of Ghanaians have not offered any plausible rationale for the planned elimination of the guarantor system by the EC.

Earlier, the Chairperson of the EC, Mrs. Jean Adukwei Mensa briefed Parliament on the proposed Constitu­tional Instrument (CI) which seeks to make the Ghana Card the sole document for registration as a voter.

Mrs. Mensa told Parliament’s Committee that contrary to the fears of the Minority, the proposed CI would rather enhance the credibility of the Ghanaian voters’ register.

Jean Mensa has always insisted that the current draft CI with its provisions – including the use of the Ghana Card as the sole source of identification for voters – remains relevant to Ghana’s electoral process.

In a presentation on the draft CI’s status to parliament, she maintained that the proposal seeks to promote a continuous registration of new voters, as well as cleanse the electoral system of unqualified persons.

The Chairman of the Subsidiary Legislation Committee, Dr. Dominic Ayine, argued that there is no need for a new CI since the existing one used for the 2020 registration is still very potent.

But Dr. Afari Gyan disagreed with the EC and said the EC contended that the guarantor system was not robust.

He explained that as far as the National Identification Authority (NIA) allowed the guarantor regime in the registration for the Ghana Card, nothing prevented the EC from doing the same for the voter registration exercise and making that system more robust as it wanted it.

“What prevents the commission from instituting, in the upcoming constitutional instrument (CI), a guarantor regime as robust as or even more robust than the one being used by the NIA for doing the Ghana Card?” he asked.

Meanwhile, the Minority in Parliament has vehemently opposed the CI due to the difficulties in obtaining the Ghana Card.

The MPs insisted the proposed CI that seeks to eliminate the use of the guarantor system to prove one’s eligibility to be captured onto the voters register is a deliberate ploy to deprive millions of Ghanaians the opportunity to register and have their names on the electoral roll.

The Minority maintains that the basis for the move is unjustifiable and that the time-tested guarantor system must be maintained in the EC’s new CI.

Credit: Pulse Gh