13 Parties Back EC For New Register
A coalition of 13 registered political parties has supported the compilation of a new robust, modern, durable and user-friendly voters’ register.
The coalition led by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG), including other parties, said while the current Electoral Commission (EC) under the chairmanship of Jean Mensa is spending Gh¢448 million on the entire compilation of a new biometric register, the Charlotte Osei-led EC spent a whopping Gh¢487.9 million on just a limited registration so the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) should not make any fuss about the cost of a new voters’ register.
The coalition explained that the new biometric register would not only capture all biometric information of a voter but also have a facial recognition as an additional feature since the current one does not have a facial recognition technology. Besides, it does not allow for facial recognition add-on.
The parties that registered their support for a new biometric register to ensure free and fair elections in the 2020 general elections at a press conference yesterday in Accra are the NPP, LPG, People’s National Convention (PNC), Convention People’s Party (CPP), National Democratic Party (NDP), United Progressive Party (UPP), Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG), Democratic People’s Party (DPP), Yes People’s Party (YPP), Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), New Vision Party and Reformed Patriot Democrats (RPD).
The leader of LPG, Kofi apaloo, who addressed the press conference on behalf of representatives of the 13 political parties said that the main opposition party, NDC accepted after the 2016 general elections that the current voters’ register prepared in 2012 was flawed after the then chairperson of the EC had openly declared that their system had been hacked into which was delaying the declaration of the final results.
“It was alleged that voting was affected by hacking to check trends and then the trends were influenced the following day in favour of a political party,” he said stressing that this could have only happened because the data was not in the control of the EC and the data centre not on EC premises.
He said the main opposition party is on a destructive mission to demonise the current EC and cause instability in the country. According to the 13 political parties, the position of the NDC that a compilation of a new register would be a recipe for chaos is completely absurd.
Mr. Apaloo said that any reasonable person cannot comprehend why the compilation of a new voters’ register could cause chaos in the country, stressing that a new voters’ register would rather improve and enhance the credibility of any election.
Mr. Apaloo said it is the exclusive right of the EC under article 45 of the 1992 Constitution and section 2 of the electoral Commissions act (act 451) to compile a new voters’ register if it feels there is the need for it.
He said the EC had told the entire nation that the old system had expired and using it for the next general elections would create a whole lot of problems so it would be prudent to acquire a new one to ensure free and fair general elections and to guarantee the peace and security of the country after the general elections.
“We the 13 political parties say ‘yes’ to a new voters’ register and we are fully behind the EC’s decision to compile a new voters’ register,” he said stressing that, after all, Parliament has already approved the budget for the compilation of the new voters’ register and so the EC should go ahead and compile the new register.
The General Secretary of the NPP, John Boadu, said even though the coalition fully supports the EC decision to compile a new voters’ register, they would closely monitor how the processes would go from the award of contract to the full implementation to ensure value for money.