Politics of Sunday, 15 December 2019
Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako has advised the Election Commission (EC) to find alternative and non-repulsive ways of engaging political parties to avoid the continuous tussle between the two groups ahead of the 2020 general elections.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC), the People’s National Congress (PNC) together with some other political parties on Tuesday, December 10, boycotted a meeting with the EC, accusing the latter of trying to deceive them.
They alleged that they were not invited there to witness the demonstration of a new software for a new biometric register.
But touching on the subject on Newfile on JoyNews/Joy FM Saturday, the senior journalist said, while the intention of the EC to get a new biometric voter management system was laudable, it was important for the commission to better explain the difference between the system it wished to obtain and the creation of a new biometric voter register which has been objected to by the parties.
“My understanding is that we are dealing with two things now, the need for a new biometric voter management system (that is where the EC is now) and the new voters register even though they are interrelated. The EC is talking about the equipment, the biometric equipment because what they have now is obsolete and they used that word. I have seen a report that tries to justify it, yesterday I double-checked if this report, which is an EC document has been supplied to the political parties and apparently, no and that could be part of the problem.
“I think this report should be made available to all the political stakeholders, not just the political parties. This report must be the basis for discussion, a serious discussion answering the question, do we need a new biometric voter management system? From what I know, I think they do because the old one is obsolete, even in terms of the limited registration they had challenges, the online registration had challenges, the referendum also had challenges. It’s obvious a new one is needed because the old one is outdated. Let the parties sit down together with other experts and interrogate this issue.”
On his part, the Director for Advocacy and Policy Engagement at CDD Ghana, Kojo Asante, who touched on the recently released Afrobarometer clarified that the study was not a poll as perceived by some section of the public, but a survey.
The president at his meet the press encounter had downplayed the Afrobarometer survey that appears to cast doubts on his second term bid stating that the only polls that matter to him is the one which will take place on December 7, 2020, when Ghanaians vote.
But addressing the issue, Mr. Asante said the research was not to discourage any political party but to help the parties understand happenings on the ground.
“In terms of going into the 2020 elections, it must be noted that the Afrobarometer is not a poll, it’s a survey and the interesting thing about it is that, it really gives you a lot of information as to what might be driving these attitudes among the people. You have economic evaluation, you have social evaluation, so if you were a political party, you will have enough data for you to know why our young people are more likely to rate me this way or that way. So there is a lot of information that you have, for you to make a decision as to how one can even carve his campaign so the people can relate to him.”