Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, chairman of Ghana’s opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), has launched a salvo against the country’s electoral commission and the upcoming elections in early December. Speaking at a celebration of the NDC’s twenty-eighth anniversary, Ampofo encouraged NDC supporters to boycott a new voter registration scheme set to begin on June 30.
Other opposition parties have also taken to inciting their supporters against the electoral commission, partially in response to the Ghanaian parliament narrowly passing Constitutional Instrument 126. This legislation authorizes new methods for the electoral commission to create a voters’ register: Ghanaians can produce a passport or a National Identification Authority card, or have two already registered voters vouch for them. The opposition claims CI 126 is too cumbersome for millions of voters, risking disenfranchisement. This, combined with the electoral commission’s decision to void previous voter identification cards, prompted the NDC and other opposition groups to challenge its mandate to compile a new voter’s register in the supreme court.
It is now focusing on having the validity of the old voting cards reinstated
The NDC dropped one part of its lawsuit challenging whether the commission had the constitutional authority to compile a new register, and is now focusing on having the validity of the old voting cards reinstated. Judgment is set for June 23.
The general and presidential elections may be several months away, but such a court challenge and public dissatisfaction with the commission risk delegitimizing the electoral process.