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2024 Elections: Guarantor system back – Indelible ink remains

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The Electoral Commission (EC) will now use the guarantor system as part of the voter registration process after abandoning the attempt to introduce a new Constitutional Instrument (CI) for the December 7, 2024 Elections.

This means that the Ghana Card will not be the only document for establishing the eligibility of prospective voters who qualify to be captured in the poll book.

Furthermore, indelible ink will remain in the mix of systems for identifying persons who have voted during the elections.

These were among the key agreements reached at the end of an Inter-party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting in Accra yesterday.

The four-hour meeting was chaired by the Chairperson of the EC, Jean Mensa, with her two deputies, Dr Eric Bossman Asare and Samuel Tettey, in attendance.

IPAC participants

Parties at the meeting included the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the Convention People’s Party (CPP), the People’s National Convention (PNC) and the Progressive People’s Party (PPP).

Other stakeholders in the electoral process such as democratic institutions, civil society organisations (CSOs), faith-based organisations and development partners were also present.

The key issue for discussion was the electoral calendar which the EC tabled before the political parties.

Although the EC Chairperson and her deputies did not speak to journalists after the meeting, the representatives of the political parties confirmed the key issues the participants had agreed on in separate interviews with the Daily Graphic.

Parties satisfied

The NDC’s Director of Elections, Dr Omane Boamah, described the meeting as “very cordial with a lot of agreements reached”.

“The Chairperson made statements on a number of issues that we have been arguing about for some time now.

She officially informed all political parties that in the 2024 elections, indelible ink will be used. 

“The EC Chairperson said the guarantor system will be used for the limited registration ahead of the December 7 elections, and this is good because it is backed by data that many people still used that system for registration in 2020,” he said.

Again, he said, the EC had agreed to expand registration beyond district offices, “but they will do that in electoral areas that have difficulty-to-reach zones”.

“We were pushing for all polling stations to be used for the registration exercise, but they have met us halfway because of budgetary constraints,” he added.

He added that the parties had accepted the dates put forward by the EC for the printing of ballot papers, “but we will not put it out because of security reasons.

But the fact is that they have informed the political parties”. 

Dr Boamah observed that while the NDC was satisfied with the outcome of the meeting and the decisions arrived at so far, the party would continue to ensure that “we keep the commission on its toes”.

The NPP’s Director of Research and Elections, Evans Nimako, corroborated Dr Boamah’s statements, and added that the EC had informed political parties that it would not submit a new CI to Parliament for the conduct of this year’s elections.

“This means that indelible ink will be used; the date for the election remains unchanged, and there will be a guarantor system,” he said.

Mr Nimako, however, said the NPP would not support the situation whereby some stakeholders served as guarantors for minors and non-citizens were on the electoral roll.

“It is the reason why the NPP was in support of the new CI that will ensure that it is the Ghana Card that will be used.

That notwithstanding, we will go along with what exists and make sure the right thing is done,” he said. 

SOURCE: GRAPHIC ONLINE