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General News of Wednesday, 25 November 2020


EC did not breach any law in publishing electoral roll - Lawyer

Jean Mensa, Chairperson of the EC Jean Mensa, Chairperson of the EC

A Private legal Practitioner, Kofi Owusu Nhyira, has said that the Electoral Commission (EC) did not breach any law after publishing the voters register.

The EC suffered flak after publishing the register ahead of the elections on December 7.

For instance, an IT Security Consultant, Prince Kpasra, says the elections management body has become complicit after publishing the names of voters on a Google Drive.

Addressing journalists on these concerns at a workshop in Accra on Tuesday, Chair of the EC Madam Jean Mensa said: “We are enjoined by law to publish the voters register.
“Indeed, the CI 127 requires that the final register is published in a manner in which the Commission deems fit.

“We are well aware that the ID cards had come to be used for other activities but for the Commission’s point of view that card is provided for voting purposes only. In this era of transparency and openness, the Commission believes that it is important to publish the register. The law allows for the roll to be published on EC’s website he said’’.

Adding his voice to this development, Mr Owusu Nhyira supported the position of the EC on this matter.

“The law is very clear that entities that perform specific functions through enactment or have an authorization from any form of law do not have their actions governed directly by the dictates of the data protection act.

“What it means is that we cannot purport to suggest that the EC, which is set up by an enactment, has breached the data laws of the country,” he said.

“The CI 91 which sets out how elections are conducted allows the EC to publish the electoral roll. The law allows for the roll to be published on the EC’s website.

To this extent, you would wonder whether the framers of the law anticipated the very phenomenon of cybersecurity and data exploitation.

In law, there has been no breach, but one would wonder if the EC took into consideration, what could precipitate from this move that it made,” he told Accra-based Citi.