You are here: HomeNews2013 09 09Article 285208

General News of Monday, 9 September 2013

Source: Joy Online

No verification no vote law is a bad law; it must be repealed – Expert

Governance expert, Kwesi Afriyie-Badu says the Electoral Commission's creation of the 'no biometric verification, no vote" regulation was an error in judgment.

According to Mr. Afriyie-Badu, even the political parties have conceded that the regulation, contained the Constitutional Instrument (CI75) which was passed by Parliament last year, was problematic and must, therefore, be reviewed.

Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, Chairman of the EC prior to the elections, announced that that voting will be suspended at any polling station should the biometric verification machine break down and that all polling stations where voting without biometric verification takes place, would have the votes there annulled.

One of the claims - brought before the Supreme Court by some three petitioners who sought the nullification of millions of votes because of infractions and statutory violations during the poll, was that some people were allowed to vote without biometric verification, contrary to the provisions of CI75.

The court however dismissed the petition in 5-4 ruling against the petitioners and upheld the EC's declaration of John Mahama as winner of the presidential election, bringing an end to the eight month election dispute.

Speaking on Joy FM's Super Morning Show Monday, September 9, 2013, Mr. Afriyie-Badu noted that the "no verification, no vote" provision in the CI75 contradict the supreme rights of the voter, which cannot be subjected to technology.

"Can you imagine what would have happened for instance if president Mahama or Nana Akufo-Addo - after going through all the filing processes at the Electoral Commission and certified as candidates - are turned away at the polling station just because the biometric machine could not recognise them,?" he asked.

He further discribed the CI75 as absurd, stressing that maintaining it for the 2016 general elections will plunge the nation into serious crisis.

"It is absurd for a voter to be rejected at polling station because biometric machine could not recognise him or her; it does not make sense".

Emergence of a duopoly

Speaking on the same programme, Executive Director of the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), Dr. Emmanuel Akwetey called the need to "open up" elections at the executive level to manage the "duopoly" that has been created by the two leading political parties - National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Dr. Akwetey said "the emergence of equal political parties [duopoly] means no government has enough power to do anything unless it extends invitation to the other".

He said opening up the elections at the executive level will see the opposition party get a representation in government and help defuse the system.

He noted that but for the decision by Nana Akufo-Addo to challenge the results of the election in court, the nation could have been "pushed to the brim" as a result of "the rush" to pass CI 75 into law ahead of the 2012 elections.

Join our Newsletter