The Minority in Parliament says it will not support the Electoral Commission’s proposed Constitutional Instrument (CI) until the National Identification Authority (NIA) addresses issues with the acquisition of Ghana Cards (EC).
As part of the new CI, the EC intends to make the Ghana Card the sole identification document for voter registration for the 2024 elections.
Speaking on the floor of Parliament following a presentation by EC and NIA officials, Minority Leader, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson said processes must be put in place to make the acquisition of Ghana Card less tedious.
“Using the Ghana card as the only means of voter registration will negatively impact the electoral roll and deny some otherwise qualified persons from registering to vote. We cannot take assurances as the basis. Let the NIA resolve the challenges with the issuance of the Ghana card first. Until that, I am sorry, we can never be part of that.”
Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, on the other hand, claims that the Minority lacks the authority to prevent the government from conducting business in the house.
“The Minority has given a strong indication that, if the issues they have raised are not attended to, they will oppose it and carry through with their opposition. I don’t know what he means by that. We are trying to build a consensus, but the bottom line is that, nobody in this house can prevent a government from presenting its business to the house.”
Meanwhile, the National Identification Authority (NIA), is set to print more Ghana cards as government has settled GH¢100 million debt owed creditors.
Printing of the cards was suspended following financial constraints faced by the NIA.
In view of this, more than 3.5 million cards were locked up in a bonded warehouse.
But appearing before Parliament on February 28, 2023, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta disclosed that an amount of GH¢20 million has been paid to CalBank following the initial payment of GH¢80 million.“I think that the main question was about the GH¢100 million to be transferred to CalBank IMS and as has been confirmed by the [Executive] Director for the NIA, we have indeed transferred the GH¢80 million and today with swift instructions the GH¢20 million has also been executed. That is the assurance we want to give that we will continue to work with the programme we have agreed with CalBank,” the Finance Minister noted.
The Electoral Commission (EC) is proposing a new constitutional instrument through which it intends to make the Ghana card the sole identification document for voter registration.