The Electoral Commission (EC) has postponed its compilation of a new voter register as a result of the novel Coronavirus pandemic.
Dr. Serebour Quaicoe, Director of Electoral Services told journalists after an Inter-Party Advisory Committee meeting, Wednesday, that the outfit is collaborating with health experts to decide on a more favourable date.
“We had planned to do the registration on the 18th but because of the pandemic, we can’t do it on the 18th, so, we are observing what is happening around Ghana and the global issue…so, when it gets to a time that we think the situation is fertile for us to commence with the registration then we can do it,” Dr. Quaicoe explained.
The IPAC meeting was organised in two sets. This was in compliance with the social distancing directive from the President as part of measures to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country.
The compilation of a new voter register for the 2020 elections was scheduled to begin on April 18, this year. The commission had also expressed hope it will complete the exercise by May 30, 2020.
The exercise which has been assigned a budget of GHS390 million faced opposition from some political parties and civil society organisations.
The Inter-Party Resistance Against the New Voters Register, a coalition of six political parties, kicked against the plan, citing cost, time and credibility as the basis for its opposition.
Regardless, Dr. Serebour Quaicoe justified the plan.
He said: “We have made it very clear that the current biometric system is not good enough for future activities. We are having a lot of challenges with it. In addition to that, a lot of people have found it difficult to have their fingerprints picked up by the machine so we intend to introduce the facial recognition [option] in addition so that if your fingerprint fails, your image will be used for verification.”
Coronavirus cases in Ghana
Ghana has recorded 68 cases with 3 deaths.
In his 3rd address to the nation, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on March 21 announced measures his government has put in place to fight the pandemic.
Among others, he mentioned that “all our borders, that is by land, sea and air, will be closed to human traffic for the next two weeks, beginning midnight on Sunday. Anybody who comes into the country, before midnight on Sunday, will be mandatorily quarantined and tested for the virus. This closure will not apply to goods, supplies and cargo.”
“Secondly, the Ministry of Health will not only step up its contact tracing efforts, but will also see to it that all persons who have been identified as having come into contact with infected persons are tested for the virus. More personal protection equipment are being procured to beef up supplies for our frontline health workers. Fifty thousand additional test kits have been ordered, and are expected in the country very shortly.”
Meanwhile, health minister Kwaku Agyeman Manu has announced that the country is expecting about 30,000 protective equipment to aid in the fight against coronavirus.