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General News of Monday, 12 December 2016

Source: Myjoyonline.com

NPP minimised impact of bloated register - Peter Mac Manu

New Patriotic Party (NPP) campaign manager Peter Mac Manu has explained his party's triumph in the 2016 general elections was down to a vigilant campaign to ensure, 'foreigners' do not get the chance to vote.

He said the NPP went into the 2016 elections with a firm conviction that the voter's register is bloated with names of minors, foreigners from neighbouring countries like Togo and deceased persons.

He believes that if these illegal groups were to participate in the December 7 general elections, they could hurt the party's chances as it happened in 2012 when the party lost to the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Reminded of the party's painful loss, Mr Mac Manu said the NPP still could not understand how NDC's presidential candidate in the 2012 elections, President John Mahama, won the 2012 presidential elections.

For him, President Mahama obtaining a "whooping 400,000 plus" more than the sum of his 275 parliamentary candidates showed that something was not right.
For more than two years, the NPP has raised huge hue and cry over the credibility of the voters register.

"We were very focussed from day one on the register," Mac Manu told Kojo Yankson on Joy FM's Super Morning Show Monday.

Using auxiliary pressure groups like the Let My Vote Count Alliance (LMVCA), the opposition party marshalled political actors to pile pressure on the Electoral Commission (EC) to clean the register for a credible election.

It claimed more than 400,000 foreigners from neighbouring Togo were on the register. The EC also found, 600,000 names of deceased persons on the register.

To counter any possibility of a bloated register influencing the winner of the December 7 polls, Peter Mac Manu said the NPP armed its polling station executives with the 2012 voters register of each of the over 29,000 polling stations.

"We printed the entire register, polling station by polling station...with the photographs, names," he said.

Party officers were tasked to comb their neighbours and communities to check the existence of persons on the register.

Another process to remove the names of deceased persons which was even more laborious, he said.

The 2016 campaign manager said "we prevented the excess from being played out on the voting day" and eventually won the general elections despite working with a bloated register.

"I still maintain that Ghana's register is bloated," he said.

The 2016 NDC campaign coordinator Kofi Adams, however, disagreed with aspects of Peter Mac Manu's assessment.

He said if the NPP moved house to house to check the existence of voters, it is possible they may not have found a registered voter at home because the person may have travelled.

He said days before the elections, there were large movements of the population to their registered voting area.