The Member of Parliament for South Dayi, Rockson Nelson Dafeamekpor has given a 7-day ultimatum to the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Jean Mensa to withdraw the administrative directive that revokes the use of indelible ink in elections. In a letter dated January 9, Mr Dafeamekpor described the directive as unlawful.
“By this letter, therefore, I demand that, within 7 days, upon receipt of same, you withdraw the said administrative directive unlawfully revoking the statutory use of the indelible ink as part of our electoral authentication process as it undoubtedly amounts to a unilateral REPEAL of Regulation 33, sub-regulation 2, Paragraph (c) of Constitutional Instrument 127, 2020 without any recourse to Parliament, the only Constitutionally mandated organ of state with power so to do,” Mr Dafeamekpor wrote.
The National Democratic Congress legislator explained that, “If your said directive is allowed, it will be tantamount to a sinful usurpation of the legislative powers of the Parliament of Ghana.” It will be recalled that Mrs Mensa announced that indelible ink will no longer be used in the district-level elections and subsequent polls.
According to her, the decision is part of efforts to enhance the electoral process and establish a robust identification system. She explained at a media briefing on Monday, December 18 that the biometric identification system flags anyone who attempts multiple registrations; hence, anyone verified after voting cannot vote again.
“The issue of indelible ink, the question is when we were not doing biometric, we were basically using your face, your card. We look at your face and we say this picture looks like you. The biometric technology makes it difficult for a person who has been verified and cast their vote to come a second time. “So, there is no need for indelible ink. Once you have been verified, it goes into the system and you cannot come back a second time,” she said.
However, Mr Dafeamekpor cautioned thus, “Be assured that if you fail to heed to this request, I shall employ every other lawful remediable steps available to me without any further recourse to you including, but not limited to, the invocation of the penal sanctions contained in Regulation 45 of CI 127 against you and your staff(s).”