Parliament has approved the recommendation of the Subsidiary Legislation Committee to adopt its report on the Constitutional Instrument (C.I. 126) by a majority decision, 106 – 92, which is to give the legal backing to the Electoral Commission’s (EC) plans to compile a new voters’ register.
Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale Central, Inusah Fuseini has asserted that what happened in parliament over the EC’s constitutional instrument will go down in the books of history.
According to him, the vote became necessary to prove that the minority, National Democratic Congress (NDC) did all it could to prevent the New Patriotic Party (NPP) from supporting the EC to disenfranchise Ghanaians.
“For the first time in the history of this country, a CI has been subjected to an election in parliament,” he said.
Speaking in an interview on Happy 98.9 FM’s Happy Morning Show with Samuel Eshun, the politician said, “What happened in parliament was for historical purposes. We don’t want anyone to say the minority didn’t say or do anything to stop the passing of the EC’s CI when we did.”
He noted that aside from members of the minority being against the removal of the old voters’ ID as a requirement for compiling the new voters’ register, some members of the majority in parliament (NPP) support them.
“Some members of the majority in parliament even told us they don’t understand why the voters’ ID is being removed from being a requirement for compiling a new voters’ register.”
The Tamale Central MP motioned that the opposition, NDC has done its best to draw attention to all the pitfalls of the CI and is now relying on the Supreme Court to agree with them. “If the court says there is no need for the removal of the old voters’ ID, then it will be binding on the EC to respect that and if they don’t, they will be held in contempt of court.”
The C.I. 126, which makes the Ghana Card and the Ghanaian passport the only legal identification documents for registering people in the new biometric voters’ register, was first laid before the House on March 16, this year but was withdrawn and re-laid on two occasions after the Subsidiary Legislation Committee detected some defects in the Instrument on those occasions.
Under the C.I. 126, those who do not have the Ghana Card or Ghanaian passport can still register provided they are able to get two already registered voters to vouch for them.
The last time the C.I. was re-laid in Parliament was on March 31, 2020.
The approval in Parliament on Tuesday by majority decision, therefore, allows the C.I. 126 to come into force on Wednesday, June 10, 2020, after 21 sitting days.