Kudus Research and Advocacy Center-Kurac who is into democratic peace and rule of law did an independent observation in the just ended voter registration exercise of Ghana that lasted about 36 days in phases (30th June – August 6) of which about 16.96million Ghanaians was registered.
We directly observe about 300 registration centers and received more than 800 reports from the length and breadth of the country. For our interest was not on the figures but that would make the register transparent, fair process for election 2020, and above all credible. We visited pre-registration periods, during the registration exercise and after the registration to observe and ascertain the real happening and perception about the exercise for peace.
OBSERVATION FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Generally, the registration exercise was peacefully security personnel available at most registration centers visited despite few incidents in Kasoa Effutu, Banda, etc., but many at times were under control by the security and hence couldn’t hinder the process from been successful.
The new voter's card issued had enhanced features including facial recognition future and physically looks completely different from the old one for it included the logo of EC and its name, date of birth and, day of issue of applicant among others.
With regards to logistics, the was enough in stock at EC districts offices and centers visited ranging from registration materials to Coronavirus personal protective equipment (PPEs), thermometer gun, hand sanitizer and most at times coronavirus safety protocols we're duly observed and with no serious issues that could hinder the process.
With regards to registration kits, it performed fairly well for many complaints that it was the slowing center of the process of applicant, and few breakdowns were responded quickly and replaced when the needs arose but few recorded instances of mishandling of the kits i.e Damango registration kit found in Tamale south consistency, etc.
They were only two political party representatives in all the centers observed, that’s the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC), with no promised allowances on both sides was purely on voluntary bases. And at least one square meal was provided a good move to check inducement for a transparent and fair process.
The government of Ghana assured funds and security was fully in force for logistics and security was readily available despite opposition party(s) crying biasness, they were very professional we noted.
They were frequent visits by political parties executives EC officers, opinion leaders (chiefs assemble members) the media observers and, other stakeholders of which the EC officials were willing to assist in any inquiries made.
The applicant's response to the process was excellent for also EC officials conducted themselves well but complained of delayed payments after exercise.
The mob up exercise of the national ID (Ghana card) helped the process of the exercise in terms of awareness creation gathering the people for the upcoming exercise and also reduced expected guarantee forms usage for by the time the registration could reach their centers they had their Ghana cards a primary document required.
With the observations and findings, kuracghana concludes that the 2020 EC registration exercise was transparent fair and credibly despite we couldn’t vogue the neutrality of officers at registration centers for the were temporary workers they were very professional and hence we recommend that;
EC of Ghana should publish the provisional register with statistics ranging from polling center to electoral area to constituency to regional to national with gender disable ‘suspected minors and double registration” in daily’s and copied all political parties and stakeholders.
Dates for exhibition announced immediately for other political parties are calling for it and clean up the register afterward with full involvement of all political parties the international community and other major stakeholders who have an interest.
EC should put in place a measure that if any political party doesn’t have a representative in at least 30% - 40% of the registration center shouldn’t be allowed in the general election for they have no excuse for no allowance or payment for party reps were made only meals provided.
EC should next time or upcoming exercise should engage the services of a highly skilled person with high integrity to handle registration kits for a fast process.
Finally, EC should pay their temporary workers early as possible and provide them meals or feeding allowances for many at times they were been fed by political parties and that could make them comprise the process
The EC of Ghana
All political parties
Supreme court of Ghana
Yussif Abdul Kudus
Founder & Executive director Kurac