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Politics of Friday, 15 January 2016

Source: Graphic.com.gh

We will enforce ‘No verification, no vote’ in 2016 – NPP

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) on Thursday warned that if the current voters’ register remained in its current form before the 2016 general elections, it would ensure that only those who are verified biometrically get to vote.

At a press conference held in Accra on Thursday, the National Organiser and Acting General Secretary of the party, John Boadu, said the voters’ register was “incurably flawed” and ought not to be used for the upcoming election.

Mr. Boadu said the NPP had already presented evidence to the Electoral Commission (EC) as to why the register should not be used, citing what he said was the names of foreigners on the register as an example.

He condemned the EC’s decision to ‘clean’ the register instead of changing it entirely, describing it as an affront to the “sovereignty of the people”.

According to him, if “the good people of Ghana are clamouring for a new register,” it is not for the EC to tell them that it was independent and so will not heed the call.

“The constitution does not say your independence should be at the expense of the sovereignty of the people,” he stated, adding: “Is EC independent of the good people of Ghana?”

Mr. Boadu vowed that should the register remain “incurably flawed” ahead of the elections, the NPP will ensure that the ‘No verification, no vote’ policy works in 2016 in order to, according to him, guarantee the sanctity of the election.

“Manual process will not be allowed if the register continues to be in this state - not when the register is incurably flawed,” he emphasized.

Before the 2012 elections, the ‘no verification, no vote’ policy demanded that prospective voters are verified biometrically before they are deemed eligible to cast their vote.

However, during the elections, the biometric verification devices at several polling stations failed to verify many voters although their names were in the voters’ register.

The development recently prompted the EC, in concert with the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC), to determine that voting without biometric verification would be allowed during the 2016 parliamentary and presidential elections.

IPAC agreed that manual verification of voters would be introduced for people whose particulars appear on the voter register but who might be rejected by the biometric verification devices.

The NPP’s threat Thursday to resist manual verification appears to be a deviation from what the party signed up to at IPAC.

Earlier, the Campaign Manager of the NPP’s 2016 campaign, Mr. Mac Manu, condemned the Chairperson of the EC, Mrs. Charlotte Osei, for what he said was her propensity to pander to the 'propaganda' of the ruling National Democratic Congress NDC).