General Politics

NDC resist new voters’ register move; call for upgrade instead

Deputy General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) says compiling a new voters’ register is unnecessary and that an upgrade of the current one is more reasonable.

Peter Otokunor said if the Electoral Commission’s reasons for the compilation of a new register is the high rate of manual verification, then the problem is with the software, not the voters’ register.

Speaking on Joy News’ news analysis programme, PM Express Wednesday, he said “it has nothing to do with the voters’ register, it is the software instead and all you have to do to make it run efficiently is to refurbish the software.

“If these systems are refurbished and we observe the conditions under which they work, we will not get high rate or incidence of manual verification,” he stated.

EC on Tuesday, December 17, 2019, asked Parliament to approve ¢444,846,663 for the compilation of a new voters’ register prior to the 2020 general election.

And the NDC has sternly kicked against it. They believe the EC is purposefully attempting to disenfranchise some people with the new register.

Mr Otokunor during the show admitted that the current system used by the Commission often fails to function under high temperatures, but was quick to add that the solution does not lie in a change of the register.

“…The ones you will buy can work under high temperature but under certain circumstances, it does not work, and you have to resort to manual verification, will you change the entire register again?” he quizzed.

The NDC’s Deputy General Secretary further accused the EC of taking ¢25 million in 2018 to refurbish the system but failed to do so, which resulted in the challenges currently being encountered.

He stressed, “There is a fundamental reason we are facing this challenge, let’s uproot the challenge and solve the problem.”

Also commenting on the issue was Elections Director of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Evans Nimako who argued that compilation of a new register will be less expensive than sustaining and refurbishing the existing one.

He indicated that technology has changed and there is the need to keep up.

“The system as it exists now does not allow for full prove and we have gotten to a point that anytime we are doing registration or elections it allows for manual verification which has been challenged by political parties including NDC themselves.

Mr Nimako further added, “For us as the NPP, we want a system that will improve and give us an election that is transparent where people won’t raise issues of its credibility.”

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