General News of Friday, 7 December 2012

Source: Joy Online

Blame civil society for biometric voting challenges - NDC

The General Secretary of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia, has pointed accusing fingers at civil society organisations for the challenges the voter verification system is facing.

His accusation comes after several reports from some polling centres indicate that several voters have not been able to vote because they could not be verified by the verification machines.

Speaking on Joy News’ Election Headquarters, Asiedu Nketia noted that these challenges could have been avoided if the NDC’s reservations about the system were taken.

According to him, civil society must be partly blamed because during the several Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meetings, the NDC raised serious concerns about the verification equipment and indicated that there is no country anywhere in the world which has introduced this verification and succeeded in one year.

He said the NDC's suggestion of piloting the verification through some voting process until an improved quality of the register while allowing manual verification was not considered. "We were bashed left-right-centre".

The NDC General Secretary noted that in spite of that, the party is still ready to dialogue with the Electoral Commission (EC) and IPAC if the outcome would be a better option to move the country forward.

He added that, the NDC will not be vindictive by saying “we told you so because already the country is in a mess", indicating that "it will be irresponsible on our part not to participate in any solution that will take us out of where we are now".

While the NDC is ready to dialogue, it is going to be extremely difficult for the political parties to reach a consensus on the matter because when the NDC took a stance against the move, the party was vilified, Asiedu Nketia remarked.