From the building of a new data centre through the acquisition of enhanced voting equipment and materials to the conduct of the December 2020 general elections, Ghana’s Electoral Commission (EC) would save the nation millions of cedis in its activities.
Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu, made the assessment on Wednesday (June 17) and wondered why the Minority Caucus was raising issues with the EC on its roadmap and preparations towards the conduct of the 2020 elections.
At a press conference in Parliament House on Wednesday, the Majority announced the timetable released by the EC in its activities in the run-up to the December 2020 elections and held the Minority Caucus to task for castigating the EC despite its attempt to beat down the cost of activities for the elections.
Officials of the Commission, led by its Chairperson, Dr Jean Adukwei Mensa, had met with the Special Budget Committee of Parliament on Tuesday, the Committee of Parliament charged with the responsibility of looking into the performance of certain state institutions, on its preparations towards the conduct of the 2020 elections.
Moments after the meeting, the Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) Caucus in Parliament, led by its leader Haruna Iddrisu, MP for Tamale South, at a press conference accused the EC of planning to reduce the number of registration centres for the new voters’ identification card and disenfranchise voters.
It also alleged that the EC was not ready to carry out the voter registration exercise.
The announcement was, however, rejected by the Deputy Chairman of Corporate Services of the EC, Dr Bossman Asare, who said all the existing registration centres would be used for the voter registration exercise.
“We’re not reducing the existing registration centres,” Dr Asare said.
On Wednesday, when the Majority Leader met with the journalists, he gave thumbs up to EC on its preparedness to compile a new voters’ register.
“If we knew that colleagues would twist and turn facts after our encounter with the EC. And that’s most unfortunate,” Mr Kyei-Mensah Bonsu said.
According to the Minister, the EC submitted its work plan, procurement of operational vehicles, recruitment of staff and the conduct of registration exercise, which makes it imperative to procure enhanced biometric equipment.
“We are convinced and persuaded by what they said to us; that as much as they want to see how the system functions if there is any problem, they will immediately replace them so that they EC will have smooth conduct of the registration,” he said.
He announced that the EC plans to build a new data centre at the cost of $6.1 million to house the database of voters.
The Majority Leader also listed a number of activities outlined to be taken by the EC and wondered why the EC was being castigated by the Minority.