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17.01.2020 Headlines

EC Will Rely On NIA Database If Only It Is Ready

EC Will Rely On NIA Database If Only It Is Ready
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The Electoral Commission of Ghana has reiterated its readiness to cooperate and rely on the National Identification Authority's database from the Ghana Card registration if only the database is complete.

According to the EC, since the NIA has not completed the Ghana Card registration, it is not feasible to fall on such national record let alone allow it to be used for voting.

Dr. Yaw Ofori-Agyei, a consultant at the Electoral Commission made these observations during an engagement with journalists in Accra.

“Yes, we can use the [National Identification Authority’s] data but is the NIA data ready?”

That notwithstanding, the EC still needs to compile a new voters’ register for the December 2020 general elections since the current one is not fit for purpose, the EC has argued.

The new register is expected to have enhanced biometric features and also an added layer of security in facial recognition.

The EC has also argued most of the biometric devices in the current electoral system are burnt out, necessitating the compilation of a new register.

However, some opposition parties are suspicious of the EC.

The biggest opposition party, the National Democratic Congress has argued the EC wants to connive with the government to stymie eligible voters in NDC strongholds from registering.

The NDC and other like-minded opposition parties have staged a protest march in Tamale, Northern Region to register their opposition to the proposed new register.

They are expected to replicate the same in other parts of the country.

Also, some 15 civil society organisations have also joined the cry for the EC to abandon its plans for a new register.

In a statement, Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), IMANI, Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) and others among other recommendations, said the EC should “update the existing software in ways to make it more efficient.”

Compiling a new register, they said would be a “wasteful duplication of efforts at great expense.”