Ghana’s Parliament has approved the Constitutional Instrument (C.I. 126) of the Electoral Commission (EC) to enable the elections management body compile a new register of voters using the Ghana card and passport as the only primary documents of eligibility.
One hundred and six MPs voted for it and 92 voted against it on Tuesday, 9 June 2020.
The C.I., which has now amended the relevant law or C.I. 91, was signed by the Chairperson of the EC, Mrs Jean Mensa, and laid before the House by the Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu.
The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, in his ruling after the vote, said: “It must be made clear that the Constitution provides that any order, rule or regulation made by a person or authority under a power conferred by this Constitution or any other, shall be laid before parliament, published in a gazette on the day it is laid before parliament and come into force at the expiration of 21 days after being so laid, unless before the expiration of the 21 days, parliament annuls the order, the rule or regulation by a vote of not less than two thirds of all members of parliament”.
“By that, you will need 184 members to vote against the C.I. to defeat it. On the contrary, if you overwhelmingly upheld it by virtue of the requisite number of the two-thirds membership of this house, you will annul it. The decision is very clear”, the Speaker noted.
Per the C.I. “A person who applies for registration as a voter shall provide, as evidence of identification, one of the following: a passport, a national identification card or one voter registration identification guarantee form as set out in Form One of the schedule that has been completed and signed by two registered voters.”
This means Ghanaians who do not have either of the national identification documents will need two already-registered citizens to vouch for them as Ghanaian citizens before they can be registered.