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COVID – 19: NIA-EC directed to immediately freeze all registration activities

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The Center for Ethical Governance and Administration ( CEGA) has called on the Electoral Commissioner to cancel the impending registration exercise and the National Identification Authority to immediately freeze all registration activities until it is medically safe and serves the public good.

The Center for Ethical Governance and Administration ( CEGA) has noted with deep concern the entrenched position and time table announced by the Electoral Commission to commence a nation – wide compilation of new voter register.The exercise is scheduled to begin on the 18th April, 2020.

With the advent of the new Coronavirus disease ( COVID – 19 ) the World Health Organisation ( WHO ) has advised all countries to take the necessary measures to prevent the spread of the deadly Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The CEGA therefore calls on :
1. the Electoral Commissioner to cancel the impending registration exercise and the National Identification Authority to immediately freeze all registration activities until it is medically safe and serves the public good.

2. the President , government officials and individuals who travelled to Norway and other European countries recently should immediately stop all public engagements and proceed a self quarantine in the public interest.

3. It is noted with despair and anguish that, soon upon arrival in Ghana, the entire government machinery including most of the officials who returned recently from Norway moved to Kumasi to celebrate the National Independence day on 6th March 2020.
In this regard the Ministry of Health is called upon to expand their contact tracking to Kumasi in a bid to properly contain the virus.

4. all Political Parties should take the necessary steps to prevent any crowd activities such as party meetings, press conferences etc to protect their members from being infected with the virus.

5. all media houses must take steps to make sure all their workers are protected and equipments such as microphones used by staff and the public are absolutely safe for use at all times.

6. In this direction CEGA calls on the Former President to temporary stop his Speak Out tour of the country that continues to attract mammoth crowds.

The above Press statement was signed by Prof Ohene Adjei the Executive Director of Center for Ethical Governance and Administration ( CEGA) and copied to tnpnewsonline.com

READ BELOW THE FULL STATEMENT FROM CEGA.

CENTER FOR ETHICAL GOVERNANCE AND ADMINISTRATION ( CEGA)*

Press statement
16th March 2020

THE COMPILATION OF THE NEW VOTERS REGISTER AND CORONAVIRUS INFECTION

The Center for Ethical Governance and Administration ( CEGA) has noted with deep concern the entrenched position and time table announced by the Electoral Commission to commence a nation – wide compilation of new voter register.The exercise is scheduled to begin on the 18th April, 2020.
With the advent of the new Coronavirus disease ( COVID – 19 ) the World Health Organisation ( WHO ) has advised all countries to take the necessary measures to prevent the spread of the deadly Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19 ).
The organization recommends voluntary avoidance of crowd activities.
Various countries have put in stringent measures such as closing down of schools, restaurants, churches, sporting activities, flight cancellations, ban on local and non critical conferences, seminars and workshops. This means that the date proposed for the mass registration exercise is ill timed and against the advice from the WHO.
Presently 6 cases within a period of 3 days have been confirmed in Ghana.

CEGA has the information that some of the vendors and equipment contracted by the Electoral Commission are coming from Europe, where the Coronavirus infection has been declared a pandemic, in this regard the Electoral Commission is being called upon not to take any steps that will jeopardise the life of any single Ghanaian in the pursuit of their entrenched position in re-registering Ghanaians into the new but neddless Voters Register
All things being equal some Ghanaians living outside Ghana would have preferred travelling to their various polling stations in Ghana to be registered.

With the current pandemic nature of the Coronavirus infections almost all flights have been cancelled denying these Ghanaians the opportunity to register and fulfill their civic responsibility of voting . It will also be medically unsafe for Ghanaians abroad seeking to be registered to come to Ghana. This means that the intended Registration Exercise will exclude many Ghanaians living outside and even those within the country will not find it safe to join long queues which will result in body direct contact to register.

The government recently announced measures to control the spread of the Coronavirus infection. These include travel ban, face to face meetings and gatherings.
CEGA wonders how the intended registration exercise will achieve its purpose when citizens have been warned to avoid crowd and open activities .

The CEGA therefore calls on :
1. the Electoral Commissioner to cancel the impending registration exercise and the National Identification Authority to immediately freeze all registration activities until it is medically safe and serves the public good.

2. the President , government officials and individuals who travelled to Norway and other European countries recently should immediately stop all public engagements and proceed a self quarantine in the public interest.

3. It is noted with despair and anguish that, soon upon arrival in Ghana, the entire government machinery including most of the officials who returned recently from Norway moved to Kumasi to celebrate the National Independence day on 6th March 2020.
In this regard the Ministry of Health is called upon to expand their contact tracking to Kumasi in a bid to properly contain the virus.

4. all Political Parties should take the necessary steps to prevent any crowd activities such as party meetings, press conferences etc to protect their members from being infected with the virus.

5. all media houses must take steps to make sure all their workers are protected and equipments such as microphones used by staff and the public are absolutely safe for use at all times.

6. In this direction CEGA calls on the Former President to temporary stop his Speak Out tour of the country that continues to attract mammoth crowds

Signed:
Prof Ohene Adjei
Executive Director
0208124706

Dr Justice Aheto
Executive Secretary
0242527292

Dr Vida Yakong

Source: tnpnewsonline.com

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