The Electoral Commission (EC) has dismissed reports that the compilation of a new voters’ register scheduled for April 18 will be postponed.
Sources within the Commission said that there are no immediate intentions of postponing the exercise.
The Commission is set to compile a new electoral roll on the said date despite intense public and political resistance.
The Inter-Party Resistance Against New Voters Register had already downplayed the EC’s preparedness for the April 18 exercise.
The Resistance has been sceptical of the EC’s ability to conduct the exercise within the limited time available for the December 7 national polls.
Ghana to save money by compiling register – EC
Data from the Electoral Commission shows that the country stands to save an amount of GHS173.07 million should a new voters’ register be compiled ahead of the 2020 general elections.
This means that procuring a fresh Biometric Voter Management System (BVMS) is less costly than upgrading the current register as many have called for, the EC claims.
IT consultant to the EC, Dr. Yaw Ofori-Adjei who made this known at a media encounter last Thursday said the commission will incur a cost of approximately GHS107.25 million to furnish the existing data centre but will only need about GHS39.51 million for both the construction and maintenance of a new data centre.
He added that keeping the old biometric system will cost US$74.36 million as against the US$56 million needed to acquire a new system which includes Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits and the Biometric Verification Devices (BVD).
Groups against decision
The plan to compile a new register ahead of the general elections in December has over time sparked up a lot of controversies, with many parties and groups disagreeing to the move.
The Inter-Party Resistance Against New Voter Register, a group made up of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Convention People’s Party (CPP), People’s National Convention (PNC), Eagle Party, All People’s Party (APC), Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) have on several occasions demonstrated to express their disappointment against the EC’s decision.
Eighteen Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have also rejected the Electoral Commission’s proposal to compile a new electoral roll ahead of the 2020 elections.
The CSOs are Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), IMANI Africa, SEND Ghana, Africa Centre for International Law and Accountability (ACILA), Financial Accountability and Transparency – Africa (FAT-Africa), Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Youth Bridge Foundation, West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI), Citizens Movement against Corruption (CMaC) and Human Rights Advocacy Centre (HRAC).
These groups have cited the reason for their rejection as among other things, a waste of the taxpayers’ money. They rather want the EC to update the current software rather than procuring a new one.
Meanwhile, efforts to settle the differences including resorting to the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) and the Electoral Commission’s Eminent Advisory Committee have proved futile.