September 1, 2015

Leader of the Minority New Patriotic Party (NPP) Caucus in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, is casting doubts over the credibility of the outcome of the upcoming District Assembly Elections, noting that the controversy surrounding the current voters’ register makes the whole exercise suspicious.

According to him, following the revelations of Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and the NPP about the bloated voters register by foreign nationals, the elephant family would have wished that a new voters’ register was used for Tuesday’s District Assembly Elections.

At a press conference on Monday to state their position on the upcoming District Assembly Elections in relation to the voters’ register, the Minority Leader however admitted due to the timeframe with which the exercise was going to be conducted, their demand for a new voters’ register was not feasible.

The Electoral Commission he said had enough time from now till the next general elections to compile a new voters’ register.

“Against the background of the serious issues that Dr. Bawumia and the NPP have raised in respect of the voters’ register, we would have wished that a different and more credible voters’ register should be used for the Assembly and other elections.”

“Whilst the outcome of the District Assembly elections may not impinge on the nodal issues that the party has meticulously studied and unearthed, it is our expectation that the elections will not becloud the necessary considerations that the Commission shall have to accord the issues,” he noted.

While the NPP is insistence on a new register, there are suggestions it could cost the country 500 million cedis, a view made popular by the ruling National Democratic Congress.

The claims were shot down by Mensah-Bonsu who said the state had no excuse for not wanting to offer a decent register.

“The EC had elected to commence the process of elections in December 2014 but that ended up at the Supreme Court where the effort of the commission, which was initiated contrary to good counsel by the Minority NPP parliamentary group, was nullified on account of the fact that the endeavour was not backed by the relevant law. The Electoral Commission thereafter conceded that the error that had committed cost the nation about GH₵100 million, that was equivalent to about US$50million then. Today that wasted US$50million is equivalent to over GH₵200million.

“In any case, are those saying the country does not have money for a new voters’ register the Finance Minister? What we are saying is feasible and must be given a trial,” he said.