12 July 2018

Ghana: Minority Accuses Govt of Planning to Rig Election 2020

THE Minority Caucus in Parliament is suspecting that the President Akufo-Addo led government has a grand agenda in place to rig the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections.

This scheme, the opposition lawmakers said was underscored by the decision by the government to place a ban on the issuance of new birth certificates and passports at a time these documents served as the primary requirement to get unto the ongoing national register.

At a press conference in Parliament Tuesday, the Volta caucus, supported by other minority MPs from other parts of the country alleged that a directive by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has suspended the issuance of birth certificates in the region considered the 'World Bank' of the opposition National Democratic Congress.

The four paragraph letter dated June 19, 2018 and intercepted by the Ghanaian Times recalled the then Regional Director of the Registry, Richard Womega, to report to Accra "with immediate effect" for reposting.

The letter demanded that Mr. Womega reported to the Ministry in Accra on the same day and "ensure that all birth registrations and issuance of birth certificates cease with immediate effect" directing him to "hand over to the Volta Regional Coordinating Director".

Describing the directive as "bizarre" Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa who addressed the media said, "Our checks have revealed that these strange and unfair transfers are being carried out only in the Volta Region."

Insinuating that the move was to deny the people of the Volta Region the opportunity to get unto the national register, Mr. Ablakwa, MP, North Tongu, said "clearly, this is a scheme ostensibly to purge the system and pave way for their strategy to manipulate the [electoral] system".

The National Identification Authority (NIA) is currently compiling a national identification register and the primary documents, in line with the Legislative Instrument for registration, are the birth certificates and passports.

The Minority wants the voter identity cards considered as a registration document, a position the NIA, supported by the Majority caucus and government spokespersons disagree with.

Mr Ablakwa indicated that they had long believed that "the reckless intransigence on the part of the government and the belligerent open defence of same by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is targeted primarily at the Volta Region".

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