Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Saturday, September 26, 2015
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has officially submitted its case to the Electoral Commission (EC) to press home its demand for an entirely new voter register.
The party says it presented what it calls ‘mind-blowing’ evidence to the EC to prove that the register is indeed bloated beyond comprehension.
Sources at the party’s headquarters in Accra said it presented fresh cases in addition to the already known one to back its claim that the existing register is flawed and so cannot be used for the 2016 general elections.
The General Secretary of the NPP, Kwabena Agyepong, appended his signature to the document after the party’s IT team had ‘unravelled’ the existence of thousands of separate cases of ‘double’ and in some cases, ‘multiple’ registrations in the current electoral roll.
The NPP is said to have submitted to the EC samples of 2,096 separate cases of double and multiple registrations throughout the country.
“These separate cases can be grouped under three main forms. The first involves the cases of double and multiple registrations with multiple photographs, the second involves double and multiple registrations with multiple voter ID numbers and the third involves same registration details and photographs in different Polling Stations,” a statement from the party said.
“The pile of additional evidence was presented to the Electoral Commission, accompanied by a cover letter signed by the General Secretary of the NPP, Kwabena Agyei Agyepong, detailing the extent of inaccuracies within the current register, aside the evidence of foreign voters and scanned pictures in the register which the party has already made a comprehensive presentation to the Electoral Commission on.
“The latest evidence presented to the Commission calls into question the whole credibility of the biometric register and whether the EC actually carried out de-duplication of the register as it should have done and claims to have done, since de-duplicating a biometric register will automatically eliminate all such double and multiple registrations, no matter the form in which they come,” the party underscored.
The NPP said if indeed the EC had conducted a de-duplication process on the register, “then the revelation is a further indication of how the whole database of the Electoral Commission and its IT set-up have been compromised to allow for such multiple entries as they appear on the register, similar to the case on the scanned pictures in the Register."
It will be recalled that on Tuesday, August 18, 2015 the party submitted to the EC and the Ghanaian public unchallenged evidence of the existence of over 76,000 Togolese nationals on the Ghanaian register after a review of less than 10% of the registers of the two countries.
“Perhaps more damning was the evidence of the existence of various scanned pictures in the current register, an issue the EC has not been able to respond to as yet,” the party added.
1.5m Ghost Names
It’s believed that over 1.5 million names were illegally inserted into the register through the scanning of pictures.
However, the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), in a very suspicious manner, is strongly against a new register, saying that the existing register can be cleaned up, with its chairman Kofi Portuphy saying that the State has no money to undertake such an exercise.
Meanwhile, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, at the recent annual Ghana Bar Association (GBA) conference in Kumasi, said cost should not be an obstacle to the compilation of a new register.
“I know how concerned our friends in the international community are about the sustenance of democracy through elections that are credible; and I have no doubt that they will find it of greater value to help fund a credible process that delivers a fair and just result than to pay for the unpredictable consequences of flawed elections. So we should ask ourselves now: Is our electoral register tainted? If it is, how best can we clean it to give the register credibility? If we are seeking the ultimate fairness, we must seek first the ultimate credibility,” Otumfuo told the lawyers.