The National Coordinator of the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), Mr Albert Arhin, has suggested that the Electoral Commission (EC) should develop an alternative plan (plan B) on how it is going to conduct this year’s elections.
That, he said, was as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) which had led to the imposition of restriction on movements of people and lockdown in certain parts of the country.
According to him, “it is time to come out with an option, especially when the EC had postponed indefinitely the registration exercise which was scheduled to commence from April 18 for the compilation of a new voter’s register.
“The coronavirus situation is fluid and it is good to have an alternative because of the time we have available. By now, they should have started the registration but see the time we are in,” Mr Arhin told the Daily Graphic yesterday.
Some weeks after the President placed a ban on public gatherings as part of measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus, the EC said it was postponing the registration exercise.
The President also announced a partial lockdown of Greater Accra, Tema, Greater Kumasi and Kasoa.
The restriction on movements of people has been extended and is expected to end on April 19.
But for Mr Arhin, he asked, among other things, whether or not the EC was going to use the old register which was used for the 2019 District Level Election, or conduct the registration in the non-lockdown areas and then later go back to locked-down areas to conduct the exercise?
He said even if the registration exercise was going to be conducted in the areas that are not under lockdown, the restrictions on those places would have to be lifted.
“The EC should think about this by now in view of the time frame between now and the conduct of the general election on December 7, 2020.
The EC has indicated that it was going to conduct a new credible Biometric Voter Management System (BVMS) to replace the old voters’ register.
Its decision has, however, been challenged by a coalition of political parties, including the main opposition National Democratic Congress.
Among other concerns, the party has questioned the EC’s decision on the compilation of the new register, insisting that the old register which was used, for instance, for the conduct of the 2016 general election and the 2019 District Level Election be maintained