July 24, 2024
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EC must facilitate not frustrate right to vote ~ Haruna Iddrisu

Member of Parliament for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu has highlighted that the fundamental function of the Electoral Commission (EC) is to ensure that the delegates’ voting rights are not infringed on.

According to the former Minority Leader, the conduct of the EC in the ongoing limited voter registration process does not conform to the function of the Commission that he highlighted, stressing that the EC is rather frustrating delegates in disadvantaged areas in the country.

“The electoral commission must facilitate, not frustrate, the right to vote. The right to vote is the most enshrined in any constitution in a functional democracy, it’s essential,” he stressed in an interview on JoyNews’ Newfile.

The Tamale South legislator’s remarks follow the execution of the limited voter registration exercise which commenced on September 12.

The process has been grudgingly welcomed by some of the populace with most of them citing the costly nature of transportation from their places of residence to designated registration centres as the impediment factor to them enjoying their right to vote as enshrined in Article 42 of the Constitution.

Consequently, Mr Iddrisu rebuked negligence on the part of the Commission, stressing that the posture of the EC in regard to the exercise seems as though they were providing the applicants a “favour” by registering them onto the EC’s register.

The MP stressed that the right to vote, “is not a right on sale or for sale. It’s a deserved, legitimate, constitutional right conferred on every Ghanaian citizen who has attained 18 and is of sound mind, consistent with the provisions of Article 42.

“So the premise must be that all the benefits guaranteed Ghanaian citizens under the constitution, including the right to vote, must be of easy access to every Ghanaian. So nobody should behave as if they are doing any Ghanaian a favour to get that Ghanaian registered to vote or respond to issues.”

He further highlighted the benefits that registering any qualified delegate onto the EC’s register confers on the registered citizen.

Moreover, the Tamale MP charged the government and the EC to ensure that every Ghanaian is registered by making registration centres easily accessible to applicants.

Mr Iddrissu reiterated “Let’s not treat the right to vote, as if it’s one of those commodities in the market on sale, that somebody is offering it for sale, do your best to get it to buy.”

Furthermore, he stressed that allowing delegates to exercise their right to vote is crucial to maintaining peace and democracy in the country.

“If you say democracy is expensive, go to Burkina Faso or Gabon. You appreciate why Ghana must invest more.”

Subsequently, the legislator stressed that if any citizen is denied their right to vote, there is nothing that can be done to compensate for that infringement on their fundamental human right.

Source: Doreen Abena Kyerewaa Akata

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