Dr. Kwame Asiedu Sarpong, a fellow at CDD-Ghana and a pharmacist, has responded to a letter from the Electoral Commission of Ghana to the MP for Afram Plains North, Hon Betty Krosbi Mensah, describing the response as a very reckless statement.
According to Dr. Sarpong, “the Electoral Commission is a very reckless institution headed by a reckless Chairperson”.
The Electoral Commission responded to Hon Betty Krosbi Mensah, MP for Afram Plains North, saying that the Commission will undertake registration in different electoral areas, including hers, next year.
The response was on the back of complaints that several youths who had reached their voting ages in the constituency, would not have the resources to travel to the district offices of the Electoral Commission to be registered for voting, because they reside in far and hard to reach communities including islands.
Dr. Sarpong questioned, “If district-level elections are happening this year on December 19, are they saying that because Afram Plains is hard to reach, there won’t be any election?”
Taking it out hard at the Electoral Commission, Dr Asiedu Sarpong pointed out that the EC wrote statements that appeared to underestimate the intelligence of the populace.
“If the EC wants people to vote in a constituency, but they haven’t registered anyone there for the past three years, how can they vote? They write letters as if they don’t have minds or they think we who are supposed to read don’t have minds”, he asserted.
Dr. Sarpong stressed that the Electoral Commission, by its actions, was disenfranchising the youth as the majority of voters in every constituency centered on the aged youth who formed the mass of the society.
“If you look at Ghana’s population, our medium age is 21.3 years so majority of voters in every constituency will be centered on the aged youth”.
He further argued that “the Electoral Commission is writing uselessness to public, saying that the people of Afram Plain North should be there, and they’ll be registered next year.”
Speaking to Milli Grace Safo Adu, host of Bresosem at Abusua FM, Dr. Sarpong charged the public to be assertive in demanding that the electoral commission does not get away with what he described as ridiculous statements to the public.
“We cannot continue to tolerate such things from the Electoral Commission. I disagree with anyone that says because the EC is an independent body, so they should be allowed to do whatever they want, he stressed.
He was saddened that it was the educated class who wrote what he described as nonsense with nobody calling them to order.
Notable CSOs and political parties alike have tried albeit unsuccessfully to get the Electoral Commission to expand its voter registration exercise beyond its district offices amidst fears a bulk of eligible persons in distant communities risked being denied their ability to vote both in December’s District Assembly Elections and other national elections slated for 2024.
The Electoral Commission however argues that it only budgeted for district level registrations in anticipation of the passing of a challenged Constitutional Instrument which contained components of allowing the commission conduct continuous registration exercises in those district offices.
By: Kwadwo Owusu