A Coalition of Civil Society Organisations believes the great opposition to the EC’s proposal for a new voters’ register is due to the commission’s failure to prove there is a problem with the existing data.
According to the coalition, which is made up of 18 CSOs, there is no need to spend so much money on a new registration exercise when the existing register was used for the recent district-level elections without hitches.
“We believe that the EC has not demonstrated that there is a defect with the biometric data which was used as recently as two months ago on a nationwide scale to necessitate the spending of $70million on mass registration. It has already conducted limited registration for the district elections and should be using that benchmark cost for the general election’s limited registration.”
At a press conference addressed by Senior Vice President of IMANI, Kofi Bentil, the coalition further noted even though the Electoral Commission hasn’t justified the need to acquire new BVRs and BVDs, it should publish a “transparent, well-publicised, tender to bring the costs to less than $15 million, not the $36 million it claims it requires”.
Kofi Bentil added that the coalition’s figures are based on checks which revealed average BVD costs of $160 whilst an average BVR tablet costs of $750.
They advised the Commission not to rely on informal information it has gathered when there is an ongoing tendering process.
“The EC has said already that they put out a tender and so the question was why would they not wait for the tender to be completed and for them to tell us who won the bid and at what price.”
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