The electoral register will not be legitimate and credible to be used for election 2020 if people do not turn up in their numbers to register for fear of contracting COVID-19, a Senior Lecturer at the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana (Legon), Professor Ransford Gyampo, has said.
He has, therefore, called on the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) to embark on sensitization and give proper assurance to allay fears of Ghanaians during the upcoming voters’ registration exercise.
Prof Gyampo made the call on UTV’s Critical Issues on June 20, 2020.
“The electoral commission is expected to register about 16 to 18million people and if at the end of day only 9million is able to register because people did not turn out due to the fear of contracting the disease, then the register will not be legitimate and credible to give it to people to use it to vote,” he said.
Fears are founded
According to Prof Ransford Gyampo, the fear of the COVID-19 disease among Ghanaians was still very high and that might affect turnout during the registration exercise hence the need for the EC to do more.
“The fears are there and so it not just about announcing just protocols, it about putting in place mechanisms that proactively tackles peoples well-founded fears”
The Prof. expressed disappointment that not much had been said about the fear even though those fears were very much in existence.
“Unfortunately, nobody is talking about this fear; those who want us to register at all cost are not talking about this fear”.
The Political Science Lecturer mentioned that it would be irresponsible of us as a country not to do anything to allay those fears but focus all our attention on just the voters’ registration.
The Electoral Commission has set June 30, to begin its voter registration exercise amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic. The decision although had been met with stiff opposition from all and sundry including the largest opposition party, the New Democratic Congress (NDC) the EC had been unwavering in its decision to compile the new register.