Ghanaians Must Support EC For New Voters Register—NPP – USA Columbus Chapter Secretary Urges.
Mr Danny Opoku Antwi, the NPP-USA Columbus Chapter Secretary has rallied Ghanaians back home to throw their fullest support to the Electoral Commission (EC) as it commences processes to compile a new voters register for the 2020 elections.
The NPP man says a new voters register among other things would resolve all fears that many used unacceptable documents to be captured on the existing voter album.
In a statement, Danny as the NPP man is famously referred to by party members also said the creation of new regions in the country commits the EC to have a new voters album that would factor persons in these 6 regions in same.
We publish the full statement by the vociferous NPP man below:
One of the key defining features of a thriving democracy is the conduct of peaceful, free, fair, and transparent elections. Credible elections are integral to democracy. There are several processes and activities that leads to transparent and credible elections and the most valuable partis a reliable and credible voter’s register. All those who have Ghana at heart must support the electoral commission to compile a new, reliable and credible voter’s register. Majority of Ghanaians must support the Electoral Commission as 16 recognized political parties out of 17 are in support. These are the reasons why we should support them.
1. The creation of new regions has compelled the EC to have new register as each regions must have special code per the laws of the commission.
2. Supreme court in 2016 in a 5-2 decision ruled that, the commission launch swift action to delete names of minors, dead persons and persons who had registered and voted in the 2012 pollswith national health insurance cards – banned for use as means of identification in voter registration when Abu Ramadan and Evans Nimako took the EC and the Attorney General to court. The EC claimed they did it but as at now I know some people who have their names registered with National Health Insurance card in the register.
3. There were unresolved issues with the voters’ register that led to the fear that many people who used the national health insurance identity card to register were not being given ample time to re-register in accordance with the Supreme Court ruling. Again, there was no clarity regardinghow the register was pruned to rid it of the names that were not supposed to be on it.
4.The Biometric Verification Registration (BVR) machines are end-of-life, meaning that no components are available to repair items, including laptops according to the manufacturers to SUPERTEC Limited (STL).
5. The current biometric system used by the EC faced a number of challenges in 2016 because the machines were obsolete since the BVR kits were procured in 2011 and the last time EC purchased the kits was in 2013. Not only were the kits obsolete, but also it would help de-duplicate the data in the system, for a reliable and sustainable electoral register, noting that on May 18, 2018, HSB identification, B.V, Netherlands, the manufacturers, in their letter to SUPERTEC Limited indicated the components of BVR were old and recommended the purchaseof new ones.
6. The warranties for the equipment in the data centre and the licenses for the software had expired since 2014 despite the vendor drawing USD 3,972,252 per annum, the system was at the verge of crashing.
7. The immediate past EC Chair on June 28, 2018, awarded cost to procure new kits and that the cost was not as expensive as compared to the amount agreed to buy the equipment in 2018, by the previous EC, the procurement of the new one would save USD 18,364,500 equivalent to GH¢104,677,650.00.
Let us support the EC to exercise its constitutional mandate without fear or favour.