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General News of Saturday, 19 November 2016

Source: citifmonline.com

EC denies deploying faulty BVDs to NPP strongholds

Ghana’s Electoral Commission has denied allegations by the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), that it has deployed faulty Biometric Verification Devices (BVDs), to NPP strongholds ahead of this year’s elections.

According to the national electoral body, it has adequately tested and ensured all the devices deployed are working efficiently.

Yussif Ayuba, a Deputy Drector of Communications at the Commission in an interview on Eyewitness News, said it was impossible for the EC to deliberately deploy faulty BVDs as speculated by the NPP.

“..That cannot be possible, and it is not true that the Electoral Commission is going to deploy faulty BVDs to the strongholds of the New Patriotic Party. It is never true, and it is not possible for the Electoral Commission to hatch something of this nature,” he said.

According to him, the EC has ensured that all the available BVDs are intact, and has adequately prepared a backup plan for the devices that may inadvertently breakdown during the upcoming polls.

“These BVDs we’ve spoken a lot about it, and we’ve said we are going to deploy 2 BVDs per polling station, and in addition to that, we’ll have backups at the constituency level and also at the regional level.”

He expressed worry that some political parties fail to inform the EC first about their challenges with the systems put in place ahead of the election; but instead resort to the media to make their grievances public.

He called for a better collaboration between the Commission and the various political parties, to ensure the elections are free, fair and transparent.

“It is a stakeholder collaboration. It is not just the Electoral Commission that will ensure that the elections are peaceful. Every Ghanaian, every political party has a stake in ensuring that all these things are achieved.”

“Sometimes when we hear some of these issues, it looks a bit strange to us. We would want the political parties to collaborate with the Electoral Commission more so that if problems are identified, then we solve them as a collective.”

The NPP has in recent times raised a number of concerns about some of the Electoral Commission’s actions ahead of the elections.

Recently, the party said the Commission had printed its logo without the party’s initials, as has been done for the other political parties. It also accused the EC of authorising the printing of pink sheets without serial numbers which it said was illegal.

The NPP’s actions appear to indicate a situation of mistrust for the EC; but the Yussif Ayuba says the Commission has been transparent and open to the parties.

“The Commission has been very open to all stakeholders in the electoral process. You’ll realize that in addition to having IPAC meetings, the commission has even come up with walk in sessions…. you don’t need a prior appointment with the EC when you have a concern. You will have access to all officers who will address your concerns.”