Group opposing new register to stage ‘Yenpini’ demo in Kumasi today
The Inter-Party Resistance Against New Voters’ Register will today, Tuesday, January 21, 2020, stage a demonstration in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region to protest the Electoral Commission’s decision to compile a new electoral roll.
The group held the first leg of its protest in Tamale a week ago dubbed “Tikusayi demo.” It has however dubbed today’s protest as “Yenpini demo.”It maintains that GHS390 million approved to be spent on the register and a new Biometric Voter Management System (BVMS) will be a waste of taxpayer money.
The protesters will start the demonstration from the Aboabu school park through to the Asawase Police station to the Central Mosque and then to Asante Mampong Senior high school and a number of other routes before finally ending at the jubilee park.
National Organizer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Joshua Akamba said the group will continue to mount pressure to compel the EC to rescind its decision.
“I am sure that the committee of eminent persons has heard and seen the activities of Madam Jane Mensah, who actually doesn’t respect us and the opposition political parties and for that matter, we have had our timetable ready and we will be moving on with it. We have had the first one in Tamale. We have moved to the Ashanti Region, the next one will be in the Greater Accra Region by the 28th.
So, it is a program that we already had considering the fact that Madam Jean Mensah doesn’t respect the opposition and small political parties, so, we will go on and do our demonstration. It will not jeopardize anything,” he said.
Aside from the NDC, the Inter-Party Resistance Against New Voter Register is made up Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Convention People’s Party (CPP), People’s National Convention (PNC), Eagle Party, All People’s Party (APC) and Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP).
20,000 protesters expected
The NDC branch in the Ashanti Region expects 20,000 people to join the demonstration Kumasi today.The NDC’s Ashanti Regional Secretary, Kwame Zu, said the protestors will pour their frustrations “on the streets of Kumasi in a peaceful way.”
“We expect to see not less than 20,000 pour onto the streets of Kumasi tomorrow and this in our bid to demonstrate and convey our displeasure at the consultative posture of the Electoral Commission,” he said.
Security measures in place
Meanwhile, the Ashanti Regional Police Command says it has put in place adequate security measures ahead of the demonstration.According to the Command, they are committed to ensuring lives and properties are protected during the march.
“The police will ensure that the route agreed on for the event is secured and that law and order is maintained throughout the entire period,” ASP Godwin Ahianyo said.He also warned that police will not entertain the throwing of stones, burning of tyres and any other forms of unrest.
The new voters’ register brouhaha
The decision to compile a new register has been met with criticisms by many stakeholders with the opposition National Democratic Congress at the forefront.
This decision came after an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting in 2019.Among other demands it stated that the existing register was not credible enough for the general elections in 2020 because the current register is bloated.
The Commission also justified the decision to introduce a new biometric verification system claiming the current one is deficient.
Already, 18 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have rejected the proposal to compile a new electoral roll ahead of the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections.