‘NDC leadership will decide whether to participate in voters’ registration exercise’

The leadership of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) will go into a crisis meeting in the coming days to make a decision on whether to participate or boycott the voter registration exercise to be conducted by the Electoral Commission.

Dr Clement Apaak, Member of Parliament (MP) for Builsa South  disclosed  on Thursday.

He said the meeting would enable the leadership of the party to give its final verdict on the registration exercise.

His comment followed an announcement by the Electoral Commission on Wednesday that the new voter registration exercise would commence in the last week of June.

Before this commencement, a pilot programme would be undertaken in the coming days as a precursor to the main registration.

The new register would make way for the preparation of the 2020 general elections. The EC had always insisted that its current biometric equipment have become obsolete and not fit for the purpose.

The EC had quoted $56 million as the cost for the procurement of a new biometric system, which it said was lower than what it would cost to upgrade the existing one.

The development has resulted in heated debates and some opposition parties, including the NDC forming a coalition  – Inter-Party Resistance against the New Voters Register – to resist the new registration exercise.

Their stance has subsequently been backed by 18 civil society organisations (CSOs) who also maintained that a new register is not worth value for money.

Vice President for IMANI Africa, Bright Simmons had contended that  the EC done a request for quotation, it would have realised that the $56 million it quoted as reasonable was actually very high.

However, the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) has supported the EC’s stance of compiling an electoral roll. The party together with 12 others, has maintained its assertion since 2012 that the current voters register was bloated, hence the need for a new one.

A legal tussle in 2016, saw the Supreme Court directed the EC to purge the voters’ roll of persons who registered using National Health Insurance cards, as it was not proof of citizenship.

-myjoyonline.com

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