By Modern Ghana
The Electoral Commission is being asked to conduct a limited registration of voters in the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency ahead of the January 31 by-elections. This, the Youth Bridge Foundation believes would prevent disenfranchisement of persons who turned 18 between 2016 and January 2019.
In a press statement dated January 24, 2019, the organisation said it is unable to “sit idle while some young people are blatantly disenfranchised through the Electoral Commission’s act of omission or commission.”
“The situation is worrying because over the years, the Commission’s neglect of its constitutional duty to register first time voters (those who turn 18 after the previous General Elections) prior to by-elections, appears to have been institutionalized as the norm rather than the exception,” the statement said in part.
EC affirms NPP aspirant to vie Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election
“This act of negligence and dereliction of duty must never be countenanced as it indicts the commitment of the Commission to youth participation in the electoral processes of Ghana,” it added.
What do the laws say?
Referencing article 42 of the 1992 Constitution, the Youth Bridge Foundation says the EC is bound to register persons who have turned 18 to enable them to participate in elections.
Act. 42 says “Every citizen of Ghana of eighteen years of age or above and of sound mind has the right to vote and is entitled to be registered as a voter for the purposes of public elections and referenda.”
“…the Electoral Reforms Committee set up by the EC in 2013 also recommended continuous voter registration to ensure that all young Ghanaians are captured on the voters’ roll at all times and prior to all elections,” they added.
Delali Kwesi Brempong [second from left] leading a campaign march
The statement added that should the EC fail to heed their call, they may be “compelled to seek redress at the appropriate quarters.”
The EC has already been dragged to the Supreme Court in relation to the by-election.
Constituency Chairman for the opposition NDC in Ayawaso West Wuogon wants the by-election to be held before January 26 as demanded by the Constitution.
Mr Aborbi–Ayitey is seeking a “declaration that by a true and proper reading of Article 112 (5) of the Constitution, where, in the event of the death of a Member of Parliament, a vacancy is created in a particular constituency, the by-election to fill that vacancy must be held within 60 days after the occurrence of the vacancy.’’
Emmanuel Kyeremateng Agyarko, the former MP died on November 21, 2018, in the US after a short illness.
His widow, Lydia Alhassan and 2016 opponent, Delali Kwesi Brempong are the front runner for the seat.