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General News of Saturday, 22 May 2021


EC's 2020 achievements nothing new, let's not exaggerate them - CODEO

Rhoda Osei-Afful is with the CODEO Rhoda Osei-Afful is with the CODEO

• The EC has trumpeted some of its achievements from holding an election in the pandemic area

• Among these achievements are the fact that they employed a lot of technology and reduced cost of elections per person from $13 to $7.70

• Rhoda Osei-Afful however doesn't agree, calling for the EC not to exaggerate those achievements

The Team Lead for Elections at CODEO, Rhoda Osei-Afful, has stated that a number of the achievements being touted by the Electoral Commission from its conduct of the 2020 polls are not new.

Among the things that the EC has stated as its achievements are: it was able to put together an election in 6 months (including all election related activities like nominations, special voting, etc.) even at the height of the coronavirus, it had high participation of citizens in spite of fears and apprehension, there was the absence of long queues at polling stations, it was able to deploy technology to guarantee that only unique individuals were registered to vote, thereby enhancing credibility of the register.

Also, it was able to prepare a brand new voters register with over 17 million persons in 38 days without the spread of the coronavirus, it was able to reduce the cost of elections from $13 to $7.70 per person, saved the country GHS522 million at a time that the cost of elections the world over was rising, and it was able to achieve election participation of 79% on election day in such a circumstance.

But, not totally impressed by with these achievements of the EC, Rhoda Osei-Afful explained that while there is no doubt that the difficulties of the times of the 2020 polls meant that the things the EC did deserve some commendation, it should not overly stretched.

"The Electoral Commission has done quite some good as they articulated, I have some issues with some of the achievements - some of the things that they put down as achievements because some of them are not new. The issue of using technology is not the first time... it's not something that is new that you really celebrate as achievement. Apart from introducing biometric technology, they talk about using technology to check on registration details.

"In 2016, we had something like that. People could text and check their registration details and some other things. Turn out, we've had 80% turn out in this country before but of course, we understand that the circumstances under which we had the turn out were challenging but the point I'm saying is that, yes, it's good, we'll recognize some of the achievements that we've had, we shouldn't be exaggerating some of them but indeed, that also tells us that there are things that we can really do," she explained.

Rhoda Osei-Afful made these submissions known during the Saturday, May 22, 2021, edition of NewsFile on the JoyNews channel and monitored by GhanaWeb.