General News of Thursday, 30 January 2020
The Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting held on Thursday, January 30 with regards to the controversy over the compilation of a new voters’ register ended with no consensus.
The close to 9-hour meeting held at the Coconut Groove Hotel in Accra was arranged by the Eminent Advisory Committee of the Electoral Commission (EC) with agitating political parties who are against the compilation of a new voters’ register.
It is however expected that the EC will go ahead with the compilation due to its position on the current register and suggestions that it is not fit for the purpose of the upcoming December 2020 polls.
Chairman of the National Democratic Congress, Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, speaking to reporters after the meeting stressed that no consensus had been formed on the controversy to compile a new register by the EC and abandon its current biometric verification system for new ones.
According to him, “This meeting was indeed inconclusive in terms of accepting the technical capabilities of the proposals the Electoral Commission is bringing,” Ofosu-Ampofo lamented.
Osei Bonsu Amoah, who was part of the New Patriotic Party’s delegations and Deputy Minister for Local Government indicated his side expects the EC to go ahead and compile the new register in April this year.
“The point has been made that the EC is independent enough. The EC cannot be controlled by any person except what the Constitution provides. If this is the way they want to go and funding has been provided, the best thing is to reason with them, look at some aspects and if we think they can alter [the process], they listen to us and do so,” OB Amoah said.
“We couldn’t have concluded because we came with different positions,” he concluded.
Earlier, former President John Rawlings called for patience on both sides and urged the coalition and the Electoral Commission to be objective.
Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission has set April 18 to commence a new voters register compilation.
The Deputy Chairperson in charge of Operations at the EC, Mr Samuel Tettey, had earlier disclosed that the compilation of a new voters register for the 2020 elections will begin on April 18, this year.
Mr. Tettey told the Daily Graphic in an interview that the commission has also expressed the hope that it will complete the exercise by May 30, 2020 and intends to mount a voters’ register exhibition from August 15 to August 28, 2020.
Giving details of the EC’s calendar of activities, he said it would deploy 8,000 registration devices to cover the 32,000 polling stations across the country and explained that the EC would use the cluster system for the registration, where four polling stations would form a cluster.