2020: Eminent Advisory Committee to meet EC, IPAC today over new register controversy

An Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting will be held later today, Thursday, in Accra over the controversy surrounding the Electoral Commission’s (EC) decision to compile a new voters’ register ahead of election 2020.

The meeting is being convened at the behest of the EC’s Eminent Advisory Committee which had called for an all-inclusive engagement on the issue.

A statement signed by the EC’s acting Director of Public Affairs, Sylvia Annoh, on behalf of the Committee said the meeting seeks “to engage with the Inter-Party Advisory Committee on the Electoral Commission’s plan to compile a new Voters’ Register ahead of the 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections.”

The EC plans to abandon its current biometric verification system and procure a new one which has a facial recognition technology. The Commission also plans to compile a new voters’ register.

But these plans are being opposed by a coalition of political parties known as the Inter-Party Resistance Against New Voter Register.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) is among the parties opposing the new register.

The group maintains that any money spent on the register will be a waste of taxpayer money.

The NDC walked out of an IPAC meeting on December 10, 2019, when the matter came up.

The EC had earlier given suggestions that it was determined to go ahead with its plan without the buy-in of the opposing political parties, raising concerns about the lack of consensus among the stakeholders.

But on the 15th of January, 2020, the EC’s Eminent Advisory Committee called for calm and said it planned to meet the various stakeholders on the matter.

Today’s meeting, to be facilitated by the EC’s Eminent Advisory Committee, is expected to produce a lasting consensus on the matter.

Hundreds join ‘Yenpini’ demo in Kumasi

Hundreds of protesters in solidarity with the Inter-Party Resistance Against New Voter Register have been staging series of demonstrations to press home their demand for the EC to back down on its planned action.

The most recent demonstration was held a few days ago in the Ashanti Regional capital, Kumasi after an earlier one in Tamale.

The National Chairman of the NDC, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo at the Kumasi demonstration announced the suspension of subsequent demonstrations due to calls for calm by the EC’s Eminent Advisory Committee.

Demonstration resumes

But on Wednesday, January 29th, the Inter-Party Resistance Against New Voter Register held a press conference to announce that they will resume their planned demonstrations and hold one on Tuesday, February 4, 2020, dubbed ‘Wɔkpɛnɛɛ’ demonstration which involves marching to the headquarters of the EC in Accra.