The Electoral Commission (EC) has said despite calls for it to halt the ongoing voters registration exercise, it has no plans of stopping the process.
The Acting Director of Public Affairs at the EC, Sylvia Annoh who was speaking to Accra based Citi FM said “the commission has no intention of stopping the process of registration.”
The EC has come under a lot of pressure from medical experts and civil society groups to put a stop to the exercise due to the disregard for safety protocols at registration centres.
But reacting to this, the Director of Public Affairs at the EC said the commission is working with stakeholders to resolve all issues and ensure there is strict adherence to social distancing and other safety protocols.
The EC spokespersons acknowledged some of the concerns but assured that enough was being done to safeguard registration centres.
“We are not saying that when you get to the registration centre, there is nothing wrong with what is happening. The commission is making a conscious effort to ensure that the safety protocols are adhered to.”
She further insisted that in “most of our registration centres, the safety protocols are being adhered to.”
The Ghana Health Service reported on Monday July 6, 2020 that the country had recorded 992 new cases taking the total number of cases to 21,077 with 16,070 recoveries and 129 deaths.
Some health professionals in the country have written to the Electoral Commission asking the electoral management body to pause the ongoing voter registration exercise until safer ways of conducting the exercise are identified to prevent further spread of COVID-19.
According to them, suspending the exercise will help prevent needless Coronavirus deaths in the country.
“Pause the mass registration, figure out safer ways of carrying it out and prevent Ghana from suffering potentially thousands of deaths or continue with the exercise in this form and be remembered by posterity as a leader who supervised an exercise that allowed for the loss of multiple lives,” the group said in its letter to the commission.
The health professional comprising doctors, nurses, lab technicians among others, and numbering 221, had earlier petitioned the EC cautioning against the rollout of the mass registration for Voter ID cards over fears of COVID-19 death hikes.
According to them, the blatant disregard for the Coronavirus safety protocols in the exercise is inimical to the current public health crisis in the country.
In their second open letter to the EC, the health professionals say the Commission must rethink the compilation of the new register for the 2020 polls.
“We are by this letter appealing to your good self to pause this mass registration exercise until your commission comes up with a safer way of going about this registration. That will prevent the almost inevitable rise in COVID-19 cases, with its attendant increases in morbidity and mortality and will position you firmly on the right side of history, as a public official who chose to prevent needless deaths. We would entreat you to treat this correspondence with a lot of thought and measured reflection, thinking rightly about the primacy of life before any other considerations”, the letter said.
The Electoral Commission began processes to compile a new voters register for the 2020 general elections on June 30, 2020.
The exercise which is being held nationwide will end on August 6, 2020.