The Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram, Sam Nartey George, has secured an interim injunction to stop the Electoral Commission from organising a voter registration training workshop at Prampram.
“It is hereby ordered that the respondent and all persons claiming through the respondent refrain from holding the workshop or conference scheduled to take place at the Escape Hotel Prampram from the 24th of April 2020. The order is effective from the 24th of April 2020 to 27th of April 2020,” the directive which was captured in a document sighted by citinewsroom.com stated.
The EC was planning to hold a national planning meeting and key trainers training workshop to prepare and plan for the upcoming registration exercise.
The programmes were scheduled to take place from 24th to 29th April 2020 at the City Escape Hotel, Prampram, in the Greater Accra Region.
The EC in a memo asked all Regional Directors to submit their regional reports on the 2019 District Level Elections (DLE) as part of the requirements for the programme.
“The meeting will be attended by Commissioners, HQ Directors, Regional Directors, Deputy Regional Directors, Deputy HQ Directors, and some HQ senior officers. Participants will arrive a day before the meeting and leave a day after,” portions of a memo signed by the EC’s Director of Training, Michael Boadu said.
The statement further said that the meeting will be held in three different batches in order to observe the social distancing protocols amidst the outbreak of the coronavirus in Ghana.
“Due to the state’s directive on social gatherings, the meeting will be conducted in three batches of 25 participants per batch and each batch will have two different meeting days,” the EC said in the statement.
Unhappy over the exercise, the Ningo Prampram legislator run to court to seek for an order to restrain the commission from holding the exercise.
The injunction which takes immediate effect will last from today, 24th to 27th April 2020.
Suspension of new register compilation
The Electoral Commission was forced to suspend indefinitely plans to compile a new voters register which was scheduled to begin on April 18, due to COVID-19.
The EC had said it is collaborating with health experts to decide on a more favourable date depending on the prevalence rate of the Novel Coronavirus.
Why the new registration?
The EC wants the electoral roll used on the election day to be more credible and efficient than the existing one and has moved to procure a new Biometric Voter Management System (BVMS).
This is to replace its biometric machines to better address verification challenges that could occur during elections.
A key new feature the EC cited is the introduction of a facial recognition option in addition to fingerprint verification.
The EC first made the announcement of plans for a new register on March 27, 2019, and has been granted GHS390 million to carry out a registration exercise over a period of 50 days.
It also plans to make the Ghana Card and passport the only acceptable identification for the upcoming voter registration.
But a number of political parties including the National Democratic Congress and civil society organisations put pressure on the electoral management body to abort such idea.
They have held several protests in the bid to get the EC to rescind its decision.