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EC’s decision to compile new voters register laudable - Jacob Osei Yeboah

BY: Albert K. Salia
Mr Jacob Osei Yeboah
Mr Jacob Osei Yeboah

The decision by the Electoral Commission to compile a new voters register is a laudable one which must be supported by all stakeholders, two-time Independent presidential candidate, Mr Jacob Osei Yeboah, has stated.

Mr Yeboah, who is also aspiring to become an Independent presidential candidate in the 2020 polls, told the Daily Graphic yesterday that the only way to make the 2020 Voters Register credible was by expunging the undesirables in the current biometric database.

“The undesirables can be expunged by either retaking the new biometric database as being implemented by the EC or by compulsory verification and validation by all voters,” he stated.

Mr Yeboah said if the EC was found to have breached the law, “let plaintiff use the democratic way of the courts and not to be incessantly

political with our solution and populism by hopping from one issue to the other whenever EC achieves a milestone towards its proffered solution.”

He urged all stakeholders to help find a solution to make Ghana more democratic rather than agitating for a civil law.

Support EC

Mr Yeboah said it was easier in terms of integration and implementation for the EC to get the support of Ghanaians to recapture their biometrics and improve the existing data in terms of international standards and additional complementary verification of facial recognition for a faster voting process on election day.

He, therefore, described the proposals by the EC as a welcome solution and in accordance with the constitution.

Technology

Mr Yeboah, who contested the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections, explained that with the biometric technology to be used by the EC, once the biometric database was created, the rest of the process in enhancing the creation of the revised/new voters register should not be more than four months.

He said the EC was definitely not utilising the National Identification Authority (NIA) biometric database to revise or create the voters register.

“ Without the passport or NIA Card, the EC guarantors’ option is the easiest, fastest and authentic means for all Ghanaian eligible voters to acquire a Voter ID Card and also to be on the voters register,” he stated.

Revising register

Mr Yeboah pointed out that without the biometric database, the EC was still mandated to revise the voters register within a period.

Moreover, he said the Constitutional Instrument 91 (CI 91) constrained the EC from using the biometric database, explaining that it was not the biometric database that made a voters register new or revised.

“What makes a subsequent voters register new/revised from the old/previous elections are: voters’ relocations, the dead, new registrants, increase in constituencies, districts and regions in Ghana,” he said.

According to him, an old voters register for previous elections could not be credible for subsequent elections unless it was revised or made new.

No constraint

Mr Yeboah said a credible voters register was created when eligible voters were not constrained to register and that the voter's name appeared at the agreed and known polling stations between the voter and the EC.

He said without a new or revised voters register, the EC could not hold the elections in December 2020.