The Ashanti Regional Police Command says it is ready to provide security for the Inter-Party Resistance against the New Voters Register demonstration scheduled for Tuesday, 21 January 2020.
The event is scheduled to begin from the Aboabo School Park to the Asawase Police Station to Asare Original Pay All Office to the Central Mosque then continue to Asanteman Senior High School, then to the Kumasi Zoo Traffic Light through to Pampaso to Wesley Methodist Roundabout to Pioneer Office, Melcom Traffic Light to Aseda House.
They will continue to A Life Supermarket through the Asafo Interchange and Labour Roundabout and finally end at the Jubilee Park.
The Police said it will ensure that the routes agreed for the event are secure and law and order maintained throughout the march.
The police, in a statement signed by ASP Godwin Ahianyo, Public Affairs, noted that no acts of lawlessness: burning of lorry tyres, throwing of stones, harassment of bystanders and hawkers, would be entertained during the demonstration.
“The police will ensure that acts that will undermine public peace and order as well as flouts the Public Order Act will not be entertained,” the statement said.
The EC insists on compiling a new register and has the support of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) as well as some other opposition parties but the biggest opposition party, National Democratic Congress (NDC), as well as other opposition parties and some 18 civil society organisations, are against it.
At a press conference on Tuesday, 31 December 2019 to make a case for a new Biometric Voter Management System as well as a new voter roll, the EC’s Deputy Chairman in-charge of Operations, Mr Samuel Tettey, debunked assertions that the register of voters, in the past, “were used for ten years before they were replaced”.
“This assertion is not true”, he asserted.
He explained that: “Since 1987/88, the EC has replaced the voters register three times: 1995, 2004 and 2012. The 1987/88 voters register was used for 7 years, that of 1992 was used for 9 years, the 2004 register was replaced after 8 years and the 2012 register has been used for 8 years. It has been the practice over the years to replace the voters register after every 8 years: that is after two General Elections and two District Level Elections”.
According to him, “The reason for the periodic replacement of the voters’ register is mainly due to reforms to improve the credibility and integrity of the register hence our intention to add facial recognition to completely eliminate manual verification all together, thereby ensuring credibility and integrity of the elections”.
“Another reason for the difficulty of removing the names of the deceased from it, thus, rendering the register highly bloated after being used for 8 years. In effect, using such a register for subsequent election(s) will greatly affect the credibility of the election(s)”, Mr Tettey noted.
He also debunked assertions that state resources would be wasted in the process. “It has been alleged that the EC is wasting public resources to compile new voters register. This accusation is also far from the truth”, he said, recalling: “In 2012, the new voters register cost the Commission GHS 169,730,146.00. The 2014/2015 Limited Registration Exercise cost GHS 287,559.379. In 2016, the Limited Registration Exercise cost GHS 487,998,714.00; it is important to note that the compilation of a new voters register in 2020 is estimated to cost GHS 390,265,186.44. Note that we are referring to a new register here. The expenses stated above relate to cost of hiring registration officials and procurement of consumable registration materials. It’s worth mentioning that the current administration of the Commission is committed to judicious use of state resources for electoral activities”.