Gifty Amofa, GNA
Accra, Feb. 5, GNA –
Mass Action Committee (MAC), a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) on Wednesday
stated that Ghana needs a new voter register for transparency in the 2020
general election and beyond.
Mr Atik Mohammed,
MAC Executive Secretary said the need for a new voter register was no longer an
option, but an urgent necessity.
“One of the key
defining features of a thriving democracy is the conduct of transparent, free
and fair elections and elections are a function of several processes and
activities chief among which is the production and use of a reliable electoral
roll,” he said.
As a result, every
Election Management Body such as the Electoral Commission (EC) strives to have
a reliable electoral register, adding that MAC finds the decision of EC as
appropriate and timely.
Mr Mohammed who is a
former General Secretary of the Peoples’ National Convention called on
Ghanaians to support the EC by turning-up in their numbers to register on April
Mr Mohammed stated
this at a News Conference in Accra.
He said the current
biometric system used by the EC faced a number of challenges because the
machines were obsolete since the Biometric Verification Registration (BVR) kits
were procured in 2011 and the last time EC purchased the kits was in 2013.
Not only were the
kits obsolete, but also it would help de-duplicate the data in the system, for
a reliable and sustainable electoral register, noting that on May 18, 2018, HSB
identification, B.V, Netherlands, the manufacturers, in their letter to SUPERTEC
Limited indicated the components of BVR were old and recommended the purchase
on new ones.
STL, the vendors in
2016, also said in its January 2018 report that there was 47 percent failure
rate for BVRs during the 2016 registration and that EC should expedite action
in replacing them.
Mr Mohammed said the
warranties for the equipment in the data centre and the licenses for the
software had expired since 2014, adding that despite the vendor drawing US$3,972,252 per annum, the system was at the verge of crashing.
He said due to that,
the immediate past EC Chair on June 28, 2018, awarded cost to procure new kits
and that the cost was not as expensive as being argued by others.
Compared to the
amount agreed to buy the equipment in 2018, by the previous EC, the procurement
of the new one would save US$18,364,500 equivalent to GH¢104,677,650.00.
The Group, which has
been in existence for 2013 is made up of social activists, entrepreneurs,
political activists, farmers, academia, traders and others focus on social,
economic and political issues that impact on the rights of the masses.
MAC uses advocacy
and mass action to find solutions to societal problems that affect and demand
accountability from leaders.