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CPP scribe joins chorus for new voter register

Sat, 25 Jan 2020 Source: thechronicle.com.gh

Though the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and its allies are on the streets demonstrating against the intended compilation of a new voters register, other political parties are supporting the idea.

Already, Mr Jacob OseiYeboah, an independent presidential hopeful, and Kofi Apaloo, Founder and Leader of the Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG), are all supporting the new voters register.

Latest to join the campaign is the Acting General Secretary of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Mr. James Kwabena Bonfeh (Kabila).

In an article he released yesterday on the theme “Of the EC, BVMS, and Resistance,” Kabila called on all Ghanaians to endorse the decision of the Electoral Commission (EC) on a new Biometric Voter Management System.

“Let those with direct superior alternatives raise them and manage what is said as well as how it is said. Otherwise, let all democracy lovers endorse and support the EC for this initiative,” he argued.

“As a demonstrator with some record, I would not contemplate depreciating demonstrations, but they become noisy without focus and coordination to [the] overall objectives. The EC has, on no occasion, said that they are procuring a new BVMS because the present BVR is discredited.

“So those making that unfounded claim should know that there is no productivity in intellectual masturbation. Or are these demonstrations a test/rehearsal of the strength a party can garner? Or, could it also be a resource mobilising avenue, as the case might be?” he asked.

Kabila contended that historically, the authority and mandate of Ghana’s Electoral Commission have been exercised under Articles 43, 44, 45, 46 and the Electoral Commission Act, 1993; Act 451, since 1993 with limited or no use of technology.

This, he continued, meant that the EC relied mostly on human judgments which were susceptible to manipulations and abuses, thereby questioning the integrity of election outcomes. To him, elections are organised on the principle of ONE PERSON – ONE VOTE.”

“But, without technology and solely relying on the human factor, this sacred principle was trite betrayed.

“Once individuals could register in multiples and stay on the register in multiple terms, automatically, there could be multiple voting by same persons or a misrepresentation or identity swap voting. This had to give way for something better and reliably credible,” he said.

According to the EC, it will save as much as much as GH¢170 million with the acquisition of the new Biometric Voter Management System (BVMS).

It explained that the total cost of maintaining the old Biometric System is $74,364, 500, while the total cost for new BVMS system is estimated at $56,000,000.

These include Biometric Voter Registration kits (BVR) kits and the Biometric Verification Devices (BVD).

Giving a further breakdown of the cost of the entire process, it said the total cost of using the old BVR system for the 2020 election is $38,692,500.

These include the cost of refurbishment of some BVR kits used in 2016, and the acquisition of new ones.

The number of kits used in the 2016 registration was 5,500, and number of kits that were refurbishable 1,500, and the unit cost of refurbishment was $3,500, pegging the total cost of refurbishment at $5,250,000.

The EC further posits that the nation also needs an additional 6,500 kits at a unit cost of $5145, pegging the total cost of additional kits at $33,442,500.

However, for the new system, the number of BVR kits required for the 2020 election is 8,000, at unit cost of $3,000.00, pegging the total cost for the new BVR at $24,000,000.

Source: thechronicle.com.gh

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