The West Africa Nobles Forum has warned
the Ghanaian Electoral Commission (EC) to forget about the GH¢400 million it
intends to spend on a new biometric register.
In the forum’s assessment, the controversial plan by the EC will be a waste of state resources. It cited the fact that the current biometric system was successfully used recently to conduct the District Level Elections and the referendum on new regions.
Indeed, independent election observers such as CODEO estimated that the biometric systems were over 90% successful in conducting those elections.
The President-General of the forum, Dr Paul Fynn in a report sighted by Whatsup News said it will be ill-advised for the EC to go ahead with its plan to overhaul the biometric system and the biometric system given the limited resources and the short timeframe for the EC to complete the exercise before the December 7, 2020 elections.
“For almost two years now, the National Identification Authority has been registering people but it is yet to capture everybody and issue the cards. Even some people who registered in Accra are yet to receive their cards. And here we are talking about a whole register for elections. Let’s be careful,” Dr. Fynn warned.
The EC is insisting that it will acquire a new Biometric Voter Management System and compile a new register before the elections. This despite the fact that the Akufo Addo administration which has promised to stay within its spending limits this year has not budgeted the huge cost estimation by the EC.
The Jean Mensah-led EC claims the current voters’ register is bloated and can only be cleaned by compiling an entirely new one.
Several civil society groups have vowed to resist the EC’s move as they suspect it was planning to manipulate the system to favour the incumbent party. Some have promised relentless protests, while others have threatened to head to the Supreme Court.
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is strongly against the new biometric system and new register, saying that the current one is credible enough.