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11.01.2020 Politics

Senior Lecturer Blasts EC Over New Voters' Register

A. M Gedel, former NDC Technical Advisor on Biometric Technology in Electoral Process at the E. C. A. M Gedel, former NDC Technical Advisor on Biometric Technology in Electoral Process at the E. C.
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A leading member of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), in the Ayawaso East Constituency, Alhaji Mohammed Ahmed Gedel has described the newly proposed compilation of the voters register by the Electoral Commission (EC) as unwarranted, unattainable and that the timing defy logic and international best practices.

Alhaji A. M. Gedel categorically expressed his opposition to the proposed creation of a new voters register for the 2020 general elections .

According to him, he is not sure the EC has gone through all the necessary internationally acceptable procedures required for the creation of a new biometric voters register.

The Senior Lecturer at the School of Applied Sciences of the Accra Technical University was speaking exclusively to this reporter at Nima, a suburb of Accra on Wednesday when he stated his position on the matter which is currently making waves on both the traditional and social media platforms respectively .

Mr. Gedel who was once the NDC's technical adviser on biometric technology in electoral process at the EC is of the view that biometric voters register compilation is very cumbersome process and that he's not sure the EC can go through all the necessary requirements before embarking on a new voters register creation.

He recalled that during his previous stint at the EC as his party's representative, it took them two years to complete the compilation of the voters register which involves cumbersome internationally acceptable processes.

The speaker disclosed that there are three methods of compiling the register of which he mentioned among others low, medium and hightech methods. Biometric register uses hightech methods which also entails a lot of processes for it to be credible and acceptable by all.

According to Mr. Ahmed Gedel there are five phases under the hightech method which is internationally acceptable. He therefore mentioned initiation requirement gathering, detail planning, implementation, roll out and post implementation as the five phases under the hightech method.

He stressed that any voters register compilation which fails to adhere to these five phases is rendered unacceptable and non credible.

To this end, he thinks the EC has not followed the laid down procedures and that the register would not be credible.

He further explained that as part of the procedures under the first phase alone, a formal request must be made that indicates the type of register that needs to be compiled or updated.

Election stakeholders such as political parties, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), the international community amongst others are identified and follow up with a meeting to discuss the formal request made where the objectives and constraints of the register are deliberated upon.

The E. C will then establish a working group that includes political parties and external actors to validate and evaluate the operational concepts sustainability and decide on the fate of the proposed register to be compiled before a decision is taken.

The Senior Lecturer doubted if the EC has followed all the laid down Internationally accepted procedures and further questioned who the external actors and political parties involved were as required by law to be part and parcel of the process.

"If the EC has not followed these laid down procedures and still wants to go ahead with the compilation then it has violated the Internationally acceptable principles of biometric voters register compilation" Mr. Gedel pointed out.

Ghana as a democratic nation, he said, needs to come out with an acceptable policy document by all stakeholders that allows for a new voters register to be compiled after every population census in the country.

This, he is of the opinion will forestall any arguments, accusations and counter accusations especially among political parties and the Electoral Commission, since after the census there would be a data available to guide us to know how to plan for the future.

He advised the youth to take education seriously so as to acquire the needed employable skills needed to succeed in the field of work and to help sustain them.

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