Chamber: EC’s request to compile new biometric voters’ register untenable

The Chamber for Local Governance (ChaLoG) has described as “untenable” reasons given by the Electoral Commission (EC) to compile a new Biometric Voters Register ahead of the 2020 general election.

The Chamber’s call comes on the back of the Election Management Body’s claim the current biometric register is defective and could not be used and in March 2019, the EC announced it will compile a new voters’ register after an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting.

The need for the new voters’ register, according to the Commission, has been necessitated by several factors, including the need to replace the outmoded biometric machines.

But addressing the Commission in a statement, ChaLoG said it did not understand how a register that has been used for the past seven years to conduct the 2012 and 2016 general election, some district level elections and a referendum could suddenly be outmoded and obsolete.

“The Chamber is of firm belief and conviction demand for compilation of a new biometric voters’ register by EC is not sincere, has for past seven years used current biometric voters’ register to conduct the 2012 elections, 2015 district level elections, 2016 elections and 2018 referendum to create six new regions.

“This same ‘defective and non-credible biometric voters’ register is to be used for conduct of December 17 district level elections and would have also been used for referendum to amend Article 55 (3) if the Bill were not to have been withdrawn by the president on December 1, 2019.

“What then constitutes compelling reason (s) why EC is now telling the citizenry, the same register which has been used in the past and also to be used to conduct upcoming district level elections on December 17, 2019 has become defective and non-credible, which is necessitating compilation of a new register?

“It is unthinkable and unconstitutional for EC to purport to use ‘defective and non-credible’ biometric voters register to conduct upcoming district level elections and yet go ahead to compile a new ‘non-defective and credible’ biometric voters’ register to conduct the 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary elections,” the statement said.

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