Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has emphasised that the minority will stand by its position to fight any attempt to make the Ghana Card the sole mandatory ID for voter registration.
In Facebook post sighted by GhanaWeb, Mr Ablakwa questioned how the government will raise money to ensure the issuance of new Ghana Cards while the same government has failed to meet several of its financial commitments.
“A government unable to pay bondholders, unable to provide furniture for 2.3million pupils, unable to address SHS congestion, unable to clear NaBCo arrears & unable to fulfill promises to COVID frontliners is suddenly giving Ghana Card assurances worth a staggering GHS1.4billion.
“When will some politicians learn that delivering on the people’s needs & real expectations are the only saving grace & that unscrupulous mafia electoral manipulation doesn’t work?
“The NDC Caucus in Parliament means every word when we say: there shall be no new CI!” he added.
His statement comes on the back of the assurance by the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta that the state has reached an agreement with CalBank, for a GH¢100 million facility to ensure that the over 3 million Ghana Cards stuck in bonded warehouses are released.
The assurance by the minister was after the National IDentificiation Authority reported that it owes a private company some GH¢100 million for the supply of blank cards hence their refusal to release the Ghana Cards to the NIA.
“We have agreed to a GH¢100 million facility to ensure that the 3.2 million cards are released,” Mr Ofori-Atta told Parliament on Tuesday, adding that “GH¢80 million has been deposited, and the remaining GH¢20 million will be paid by this evening.”
Meanwhile, Jean Mensa, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), has justified her outfit’s attempt to make the Ghana Card the sole identification document for voter registration ahead of the 2024 polls.
Briefing Parliament on the proposed constitutional instrument for the next general elections, Madam Jean Mensa said the C.I. seeks to promote continuous registration of voters and will allow for an all-year-round registration of eligible voters at its district offices.
“Under the limited voters’ registration process, registration was conducted at limited periods and was not done all year round. This made it such that, persons who turned 18 after the registration period could not do so after the time set for the limited registration, which usually within 2–3 weeks.”
“Under the new C.I., anyone who turns 18 can simply walk into any of our district offices and register to vote. This is a departure from the previous one. The main advantage of this is that potential voters can register anytime any day. Eligible persons will be at liberty to do it at their leisure because it will be an all-year-round activity.”
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