Alliance for New Register (ANR), a Non-partisanship political movement, has described as incoherent and illogical, positions expressed by some opposition political parties led by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) against the decision of the Electoral Commission (EC) to compile new voters register ahead of the 2020 general election.
Inter-Party Resistance Against the New Voters’ Register, a group of opposition political parties led by the NDC, and 18 CSOs have opposed the EC’s decision to compile a new voters register.
They have raised issues such as time, cost among other things to get the EC to change its position. The EC has given about five reasons why it cannot use the current register.
According to the EC, the contract with STL, the vendor manning the Biometric Voter Management System (BVMS), has expired. Also the EC says it staff lacks the capacity to manage the BVMS.
The EC has also stated that the technological equipment hard and soft wares are at ‘End of Life’ and ‘End of Support’. It has again indicated that there was poor data capture from the beginning leading to poor biometric templates stored which make them difficult to use. Comparatively, the EC has stated that, prices in maintaining or retaining the existing register as against procuring a new system are unreasonable.
The EC’s justification has however been described as “unconscionable” by the NDC.
However, at a press conference addressed by Razak Kojo Opoku, Secretary General for the ANR, it stated “those against the compilation of a new voters register have no case” adding that the needless demonstrations by the NDC and its allies would amount to nothing.
Mr. Opoku used compilation of a new voters register in April to May 2012, to rubbish the argument of time been raised. “That same year the Electoral Commission created additional 45 Constituencies bringing the total to 275 for the 2012 General Elections,” he said.
On the issue of cost, he indicated that the spending GHC 487, 998, 714.00 for a limited registration exercise in 2016 compared to the expected expenditure of GHC 390, 265,186.44 for a completely new voters register ahead of the 2020 General Elections defeat the argument of ‘waste of money’ suggested by people and groups who are against the new voters register.
He also use the opportunity to give reasons why the EC cannot rely on data from the National Identification Authority (NIA) as has been raised by the 18 CSOs and has thus called on Ghanaians to support the EC in its quest to compile a new register.