Politics of Thursday, 4 August 2016

Source: Starrfmonline.com

EC to invite political parties over E-transmission modalities

The Electoral Commission (EC) has assured all participating political parties in the December 7 elections that their opinions will be sought in fine tuning the details of the Electronic transmission of results.

This, according to the Commission’s Deputy Communications Director, Yusif Alhassan Ayub, will ensure there is unanimity in agreeing to the modalities that would ensure the efficiency of the exercise.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) earlier this week raised concerns over the EC’s decision to electronically cart the December 7 elections scores to a national tallying centre, alleging that the Commission single-handedly contrived to contract some IT firms for the said exercise.

This compelled the EC to react in a statement Tuesday in which it branded the NPP’s allegation as borne out of bad faith. The NPP later amended its original position explaining that it accepts in principle the idea to electronically transmit the December 7 elections but the modalities.

Its acting National Chairman, Freddie Blay in a Daily Guide publication Thursday said: “…Nobody in the NPP has said that the party is not aware of plans by the EC to introduce e-transmission of election results. What we are complaining about is that in the latter stages the party is being kept in the dark as to the process involved in the transmission.”

But, the EC’s Mr. Ayub said the modalities are yet to be arrived at and that the parties including the NPP will be notified accordingly in order to make an input.

Speaking on Morning Starr with host Nii Arday Clegg Thursday, he said: “…So we came out to clarify that aspect that we had just shortlisted them [IT Firms, and] we will write formerly to them [political parties] for them to be part of the demonstrations and if they have any concerns during the demonstration they could bring it up and we will incorporate all their concerns into the final input.”

Reiterating the views of an earlier statement issued by the Commission he said assertions that the EC kept parties in the dark is inaccurate and must be discarded.

Meanwhile, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) joined the raging controversies surrounding the proposed Electronic transmission of results, revealing that the NPP’s stance is gross hypocrisy.

According to its General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, NPP under the leadership of the late Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey proposed the idea after the 2012 elections petition case.

He said “…the whole idea of the E-transmission of Results was a proposal from none other than the NPP which was exhaustingly debated and accepted by the Committee before approval by IPAC and finally accepted by the Electoral Commission".

He thus adduced evidence from a document the NPP submitted to the Commission to buttress his claims which reads: “...The commission may adopt the use of satellite transmission of results to the national tallying center pending the receipt of pinksheet from the regions. In this regard the EC should consider procuring handheld scanners to scan and send all pink sheets to Accra before collation and receipt of hard copies."ch