The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has condemned the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for the latter’s sudden decision to oppose the Electoral Commission’s (EC’s) proposed Electronic Results Transmission System (ERTS) after the parties had agreed to the use of the system.
The NDC expressed “surprise at the NPP’s U-turn” and wondered why the party would seek to undermine a decision taken collectively.
Addressing a press conference in Accra yesterday, the General Secretary of the NDC, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, accused the NPP of either trying to mislead Ghanaians or “does not know what it is about”.
On Tuesday, the EC explained that the decision to put in place an ERTS for the 2016 elections had not been taken unilaterally by the commission.
“It was part of the several reform proposals made by the Electoral Reform Committee which was set up by the commission after the Supreme Court judgement on the presidential election petition,” it said.
Reacting to an allegation by the Campaign Manager of the NPP, Mr Peter Mac Manu, to the effect that the ERTS lacked transparency, Mr Eric Kofi Dzakpasu, the Head of Communications at the EC, explained that the committee’s proposal on the ERTS recommended that hand-held scanners should be used to scan constituency collation forms that contained the polling station results and sent electronically and directly to the National Collation Centre.
Additionally, the committee had recommended that the hard copies be sent physically to the Head Office of the EC.
According to Mr Dzakpasu, since transparency in the collation of votes was critical to the acceptability of the results, those steps should be taken to further open up the collation process to as many members of the public as possible.
‘Let your yes be yes’
Touching on what he termed a sudden U-turn by the NPP, Mr Nketia said the leadership of the party acted in bad faith by criticising the system.
“When we issued the communiqué, it was signed by everybody. Where were the questions he claims were unanswered and why did he (Mac Manu) sign when his questions had not been answered?” he asked.
According to him, “there are some parties who feed on the ignorance of the masses and always seek to keep the masses ignorant, so that they can continue to influence them”.
“ We are not one of them and that is why we always come out with evidence-based presentations and we stick by all agreements that we are party to. We’ll not sign a document and come back and claim that the document was altered by somebody else,” he told the media.