Director of Information Technology (IT) of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Osei Kwame Griffiths has descended heavily on the Electoral Commission, Ghana (EC) over the move to have a new biometric voter management system ahead of the general elections.
According to Mr Griffiths, all the technical issues raised by the EC for the controversial move “are false”.
Speaking on The Key Points on TV3/3FM on Saturday, January 18, the NDC official argued that, for starters, the EC is not mandated by law to pick biometric data of any Ghanaian for any purpose.
He said it is the National Identification Authority (NIA) that has the legal mandate to do so.
The EC has decided to get a new biometric voter management system, which will see it compile a new register, a move that has provoked the disagreement of some major political parties including the NDC.
The party has led major demonstrations in some regional capitals to register their disagreement.
The next demonstration, a follow-up to the previous ones in Tamale and Wa, is slated to be held in the Ashanti Region capital of Kumasi on Tuesday, January 21.
The EC has maintained that the current biometric voter devices are obsolete and cannot support facial recognition, among others, therefore informing its decision to get new devices.
“All the technical issues the EC have raised are false,” Mr Griffiths stated.
He cited how the current devices have a lifespan of 10 years after being procured in 2012.
He, therefore, indicated that the manufacturers will continue to support the devices, if need be, till 2022.
He also pointed out that the EC’s claim that they do not have access to the passwords of most of the current devices is false.
“I want to put on record that they do have the passwords,” he said, “that is why they were able to run the district level elections.”
To him, “the EC has no excuse to compile the voters register”.
No challenge against EC
But countering Mr Griffiths was New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Akwapim South Constituency Osei Bonsu Amoah, who was also on the programme.
Mr OB Amoah said the constitutional instruments (CIs) promulgated prior to the 2016 polls, mandated the EC to conduct biometric registration independent of any other body.
He said so far “nobody has been able to challenge the functions and status of the EC.”
The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development said the NPP’s major focus is the upcoming elections and will abide by the rules.
He said if they disagree with any decision with the EC, certainly not in the current case, they will proceed to court, like in the past, and will comply with any decision by the court.
By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana