The Centre for Ethical Governance and Administration (CEGA) has called on the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana to suspend the compilation of the new Voters Register in the outbreak of the Coronavirus in the country.
Ghana has so far recorded six cases of Covid 19.
The EC is set to roll out registration for the compilation of a new voter register on Saturday, April 18, 2020.
In a statement dated Monday, 16 March 2020, the CEGA said it has received information that: “some of the vendors and equipment contracted by the Electoral Commission are coming from Europe, where the Coronavirus infection has been declared a pandemic, in this regard the Electoral Commission is being called upon not to take any steps that will jeopardize the life of any single Ghanaian in the pursuit of their entrenched position in re-registering Ghanaians into the new but needless Voters Register.”
The Centre also noted that “Some Ghanaians living outside Ghana would have preferred traveling to their various polling stations in Ghana to be registered” however, with the “current pandemic nature of the Coronavirus infections almost all flights have been canceled denying these Ghanaians the opportunity to register and fulfill their civic responsibility of voting.
“It will also be medically unsafe for Ghanaians abroad seeking to be registered to come to Ghana. This means that the intended Registration Exercise will exclude many Ghanaians living outside and even those within the country will not find it safe to join long queues which will result in body direct contact to register.”
It also emphasized measures announced by the government to control the spread of the Coronavirus infection and called on the “Electoral Commissioner to cancel the impending registration exercise and the National Identification Authority to immediately freeze all registration activities until it is medically safe and serves the public good.
CEGA continued that: “the President, government officials and individuals who travelled to Norway and other European countries recently should immediately stop all public engagements and proceed on a self-quarantine in the public interest.”
It further continued that: “it has noted with despair and anguish that, soon upon arrival in Ghana, the entire government machinery including most of the officials who returned recently from Norway moved to Kumasi to celebrate the National Independence Day on 6th March 2020.
CEGA also called on the Ministry of Health “to expand their contact tracking to Kumasi in a bid to properly contain the virus” and on “all Political Parties” to take the necessary steps to prevent any crowd activities to protect their members from being infected with the virus and for all media houses to “take steps to make sure all their workers are protected and equipment such as microphones used by staff and the public are absolutely safe for use at all times.”