“Minority led by Ato Forson achieves victory in Parliament on a key issue

On March 31, 2023, the minority in Ghana’s parliament achieved a significant victory despite having only 135 members in the house. This victory was due to a Supreme Court ruling on James Gyakye Quayson, which prevented him from holding himself as a Member of Parliament.

Moreover, the minority also unanimously rejected a draft Bill of new Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Regulations, 2023, which was a controversial Constitutional Instrument (CI) from the Electoral Commission (EC). The CI sought to make the Ghana Card the only identification document to be used for voter registration.

Since the time the CI was introduced to parliament, the minority had vowed to resist its passage into law. They demanded that the EC amend the CI in the interest of all and reintroduce the guarantor system to the voter registration process while decentralizing it.

The first deputy Speaker presented the report of the committee of the whole on behalf of the Speaker on March 31. He stated that the committee concluded that it would not accept any attempt to make the EC use the Ghana Card as the ONLY medium to qualify a person who is eligible to vote in the 2024 elections.

The committee argued that although Ghana has a credible national identification card (Ghana Card) to transact business with, some citizens are unable to register for the card due to the existence of serious challenges the Authority is confronted with. Therefore, using the Ghana Card as the only medium of voter registration would negatively impact the electoral roll and deny some otherwise qualified persons from registering to vote.

Consequently, the minority’s victory was significant as they successfully rejected the CI as they had initially stated. The parliament was urged to officially communicate this decision to the EC for favorable consideration before finalization and presentation to parliament for passage into law.

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