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13 Political Parties Back EC

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…For New Voter’s Register

By Frank Amponsah

The Coalition of Political Parties for ‘YES’ to a new Register has lend its support to the Electoral Commission (EC) for a new Voters Register because, according to the Coalition, the EC’s justification for the new register is clear.

According to the Coalition, it has always been claimed that the 2012 register was flawed by the incident that happened at Dzorwulu when voters had to vote for two days with its attendance allegations that the system was hacked to favour the ruling government.

It said voting was also alleged to have been affected by hacking to check trends and then the trends were influenced the following day in favour of a particular party.

At its Press Conference addressed by the Founder and Leader of the Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG), Kofi Akpaloo, the Coalition averred that the sad allegations could only happen because the data was not in control of the EC and the data centre was not on EC premises.

“So today, if somebody says that a new register may lead to uncertainty of voting and refers to that incident, we must know that it is alleged that the two day voting was deliberate. It will not happen again with a new register. Because that register will ensure free and fair voting and the parties can all be vigilant,” he said.

According to him,the EC has, time without number and in line with its constitutional mandate, served notice that it intends to procure a new Biometric Voter Management Solution ahead of the 2020 General Elections which will therefore lead to the compilation of a new voters register, and has proceeded to justify the need to do so.

He also noted that the EC arrived at that decision consulting all the relevant stakeholders particularly the political parties through IPAC, where extensive deliberations have been held including all stakeholders attending IPAC meetings.

He said: “The EC, in justifying the need to compile a new register, informed the parties and indeed the general public that its decision is based on the advice of its IT team and external Consultants to the effect that, it would be prudent to acquire a new system rather than refurbish the current system which had become obsolete and unfit for purpose.”

Stating reasons why the Coalition believes a New Voter Register is needed for the 2020 elections, Koi Akpaloo said the amount of money spent on refurbishing parts and renewing warranties could be used to acquire a brand new system that is robust, modern and durable, user friendly with full functionality and warranties. Indeed, according to a letter from the immediate past vendors of the current biometric system, which was contracted by the Charlotte Osei-led EC, the Commission would assume so much needles risks if steps were not taken to change the equipment.

 “We would be like to announce that the items in the present BVRs are End- of-Life including laptops. This means that no components are available to repair the items. For purposes of availability, maintainability and compatibility in the future we recommend to purchase new BVRs. If you have any questions please contact us”.

Also, he noted that worthy of note is the fact that the current Biometric Verification Device (BVD) is unable to verify a number of voters electronically resulting in a high number of manual verification on voting day, which is largely unreliable and a potential source of dispute as it tends to compromise the integrity of the elections.

“Whilst the current Biometric Voter Device (BVDs) and the Biometric Voters Register Kits (BVRs) that Commission uses are often challenged due to their inability to do fingerprint verification, a significant number of these devices can also not be repaired. The EC tells us that for the recently ended District Level Elections (DLE), the Commission had to refurbish and repair them to get them ready for the DLE.”

He also enumerated that the current biometric architecture does not have a facial recognition technology nor does it allow for a facial recognition add-on to be added and that the new Biometric Voter Management Solution that the EC intends to acquire ahead of the 2020 elections will have a facial recognition as an additional feature for those whose fingers cannot be verified and thus reduce the high incidence of manual verification which often proves to be problematic and tends to compromise the integrity and credibility of our elections, explaining that not only that, the new biometric system will also significantly reduce if not completely eliminate the increasingly high identification failure rate using new software ensure image quality.

The Coalition however expressed regrets at the opposition NDC that, despite demonstrating enough utility and justification for the adoption of a new Biometric Voter Management Solution to deal with the many challenges with the current system, some political parties led by the NDC, are hell bent on opposing the improvements to our electoral system.

He said, the NDC has vigorously opposed changes designed to improve the electoral system. Yet, the changes have benefited the NDC as well as the nation, with increasing transparency leading to increasingly free and fair elections since the fourth republic, expecting that as key stakeholders, all political parties will rather throw their unflinching support for the election management body to enhance the nation’s electoral administration and not be seen to be thwarting the efforts of the commission.

He said, the Coalition is saddened by the continuous bashing of the EC by the NDC in particular for no justifiable reasons, and we wish to call on all well-meaning Ghanaians to call the so called main opposition party to order and that the NDC proves to be a big danger to the confidence generated in IPAC with its consistency in contradicting what parties agreed on at their IPAC Meetings.

They believed that the EC has made a solid case for a new register in terms of cost, time and credibility and for that matter; they are in support of the compilation of a new register and expect all political parties to support the EC in the quest to deliver a better organised election than ever before.

The Coalition includes the LPG, NDP, PNC, UPP, GCPP, RPD, NVP, GFP, LOVE Party, CPP and the NPP.

past vendors of the current biometric system, which was contracted by the Charlotte Osei-led
EC, the Commission would assume so much needles risks if steps were not taken to change the
equipment.
 “We would be like to announce that the items in the present BVRs are End- of-Life including
laptops. This means that no components are available to repair the items. For purposes of
availability, maintainability and compatibility in the future we recommend to purchase new
BVRs. If you have any questions please contact us”.
Also, he noted that worthy of note is the fact that the current Biometric Verification Device
(BVD) is unable to verify a number of voters electronically resulting in a high number of manual
verification on voting day, which is largely unreliable and a potential source of dispute as it tends
to compromise the integrity of the elections.
“Whilst the current Biometric Voter Device (BVDs) and the Biometric Voters Register Kits
(BVRs) that Commission uses are often challenged due to their inability to do fingerprint
verification, a significant number of these devices can also not be repaired. The EC tells us that
for the recently ended District Level Elections (DLE), the Commission had to refurbish and
repair them to get them ready for the DLE.”
He also enumerated that the current biometric architecture does not have a facial recognition
technology nor does it allow for a facial recognition add-on to be added and that the new
Biometric Voter Management Solution that the EC intends to acquire ahead of the 2020 elections
will have a facial recognition as an additional feature for those whose fingers cannot be verified
and thus reduce the high incidence of manual verification which often proves to be problematic
and tends to compromise the integrity and credibility of our elections, explaining that not only
that, the new biometric system will also significantly reduce if not completely eliminate the
increasingly high identification failure rate using new software ensure image quality.
The Coalition however expressed regrets at the opposition NDC that, despite demonstrating
enough utility and justification for the adoption of a new Biometric Voter Management Solution
to deal with the many challenges with the current system, some political parties led by the NDC,
are hell bent on opposing the improvements to our electoral system.
He said, the NDC has vigorously opposed changes designed to improve the electoral system.
Yet, the changes have benefited the NDC as well as the nation, with increasing transparency
leading to increasingly free and fair elections since the fourth republic, expecting that as key
stakeholders, all political parties will rather throw their unflinching support for the election
management body to enhance the nation’s electoral administration and not be seen to be
thwarting the efforts of the commission.
He said, the Coalition is saddened by the continuous bashing of the EC by the NDC in particular
for no justifiable reasons, and we wish to call on all well-meaning Ghanaians to call the so called
main opposition party to order and that the NDC proves to be a big danger to the confidence
generated in IPAC with its consistency in contradicting what parties agreed on at their IPAC
Meetings.
They believed that the EC has made a solid case for a new register in terms of cost, time and
credibility and for that matter; they are in support of the compilation of a new register and expect

all political parties to support the EC in the quest to deliver a better organised election than ever
before.
The Coalition includes the LPG, NDP, PNC, UPP, GCPP, RPD, NVP, GFP, LOVE Party, CPP
and the NPP.

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