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18.03.2009 Politics

Afari-Gyan: Biometric registration for 2012 elections

By myjoyonline
Afari-Gyan: Biometric registration for 2012 elections

Listen to Dr. Afari-Gyan speak with Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah on the Super Morning Show

The Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan has hinted that a completely new voter registration exercise would be undertaken to derive a new register for the 2012 general elections.

The exercise will employ the best of technologies, including the use of biometric registration to beat fraudsters who attempt to exploit the voting exercise to their advantage.

Afari-Gyan was guest of Kwadwo Oppong-Nkrumah on Joy FM's Super Morning Show and maintained that a lot of allegations during elections are unfounded, and those who make such claims more often than not fail to provide evidence to support those claims, maintaining 'that the name of the game is evidence.”

Agreeing that Ghana is lagging behind in the use of technologies in the electoral process, he said any new improvements in the system will have to include the best technologies, including biometric systems that will beat the fraudsters,.

He expressed the hope that the population census for the country would be conducted for 2010 to form the basis for the new registration exercise.

Arguably Ghana's most celebrated elections referee, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan admitted he prefers to watch cartoons while political parties and their followers boil up their temperatures in their own schemes.

He assured that he will be around for Ghana's next general elections in 2012, 'God willing', explaining that he had not yet reached the retiring age and subject to his resignation, he should be around to supervise yet another election, one he expects would build on the successes of the past and see shortfalls corrected for a better poll.

Afari-Gyan has supervised five successful national polls in the country since 1992, and said most of the allegations that seek to subtract from the credible elections have lacked substance and mainly come from losers who instead of analyzing the what went wrong, look for people to blame.

“Let us remember that in the realm of elections, the name of the game is evidence, you can allege all kinds of things if you don't have evidence you are just playing around. Yes I would admit that various allegations have been made and when you ask for the evidence… and everything that we do at the Electoral Commission is subject to judicial review so if you have the evidence, even after the election results have been released, you could go to court and get justice and the reason why this has not been done is that in many cases they themselves realize that they do not have the evidence.”

Dr. Afari-Gyan said while Ghanaian politicians have not done too badly in the area of political behaviour and playing by the rules, there is still a lot of improper behaviour, likening the situation to the resort to Judo tactics in the game of football.

He said sanctioning and prosecution of infractions lie mainly with the law enforcement agencies and the law courts, while the EC is reduced to only reporting such infractions to the authorities.

Story by Isaac Yeboah