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Limited Voter Registration: We’re hindering democratic participation, making it costly – Braimah

The Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Sulemana Braimah, has denounced the conduct of the Electoral Commission (EC) in the ongoing Limited Voter Registration exercise.

According to him, the manner in which the exercise is being conducted makes it “difficult” and “expensive” for applicants living in underdeveloped areas to participate.

The EC began a Limited Voter Registration on Tuesday, September 12, to grant new voters the opportunity to be registered onto the EC’s electoral roll ahead of the December 19, District Level Elections. 

But most populace living in areas such as some villages in Pru-East municipality, say transportation fee from their place of residence to their registration centres is extremely costly.

Others have raised concern over the high risk involved in moving to the district offices, hence their unwillingness to partake in the process.

In light of these grievances, Mr Braimah stressed that the registration exercise is creating an impediment to democracy.

Speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile, Mr Braimah said the EC’s Limited Voter Registration exercise is “just making it so difficult and so expensive for people to get involved in our democratic processes.”

He further quizzed, “Why do you want to put a price on the fundamental exercise of civic rights to vote? Why should we make people’s willingness to participate in democracy so painful, so difficult and so expensive?”

Subsequently, Mr Braimah pointed out that a large number of Ghanaian youth are losing trust in democracy due to circumstances like these.

He also condemned the EC’s conduct, asking, “ Why would the Electoral Commission which is a national institution basically refuse to listen to everyone, perhaps apart from the governing party?”

He stressed that this could undermine democracy in the country.

Mr Braimah then stressed that with the manner in which Ghanaians are consistently losing trust in the nation’s public institutions including the Electoral Commission, the EC’s conduct will make it difficult for it to gain the trust of Ghanaians.

“I don’t think that this is the way to build our democracy, I don’t think that this is the way to get the credibility and public trust that the EC so much requires and desires. I don’t think this is the way to build on the progress we have made,” he emphasised.

Mr. Braimah therefore advised the EC to start “listening to people and listening to voices of conscience,” for the betterment of Ghanaians and the country as a whole.

Source: Ghana News

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