A cross-section of delegates at the polling station
A cross-section of delegates at the polling station

Make No Mistake, NPP, KATELGO Is No Substitute For Polling-Station Vigilance!

?Dec. 7, 2014

Necessity, it has been long observed, is the mother of invention. And so it ought to come as absolutely no surprise that the group calling itself STUNNAD, the Students’ Network for Nana Addo, has announced that it has developed a tamper-proof system by which it intends to monitor the 2016 Presidential Election results (See “NPP Students Develop Anti-Election -Cheating System” MyJoyOnline.com / Ghanaweb.com 12/7/14).

A cross-section of delegates at the polling station
A cross-section of delegates at the polling station

 

Thus far, STUNNAD is not letting on the details of how KATELGO was devised or how it works, except to confidently note that it was successfully used during the most recent New Patriotic Party presidential primary.

 

The leader of STUNNAD, Mr. Chris Arthur, states that “KATELGO is a semi-electronic system [that was] invented to collate the results from the polling stations; it is an idea from Students’ Network for Nana Addo. Because of what happened in the 2012 elections and what we all witnessed at the Supreme Court, we decided to come out with a system that can be used to collate election results as soon as [they are declared at the various polling stations]. And we can even beat the Electoral Commission and any organization in declaring election results.”

 

While, of course, KATELGO may be a step in the right direction, nevertheless, it is only one step among a plethora of others in ensuring that the results of Election 2016 are fairly called in favor of the real winner, and not the presidential candidate, or local candidates, whom the Electoral Commissioner whimsically declares as the victor. KATELGO is only one progressive step because constitutionally speaking, the Electoral Commissioner remains the sole official and personality authorized to declare the final results of Election 2016. Nana Akufo-Addo, the New Patriotic Party’s Presidential Candidate for Election 2016, still needs to field vigilant and well-trained polling officials and agents at all the nearly 40,000 polling stations across the country.

 

And these local party operatives and proverbial footsoldiers ought to be taken good care of, in terms of logistics, including adequate supply of sumptious and nutritionally invigorating food resources. During the last general election, for example, it was widely reported that a remarkable percentage of NPP polling station attendants, agents and observers had to depend on the generosity of their National Democratic Congress opponents for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

 

If STUNNAD wants to be more effective in its application of KATELGO technology, then, of course, the group needs to work hand-in-glove with a couple of the most trustworthy and respected think-tank groups on the ground. It is also quite certain that it would not be very long before the youth and/or student wing of the National Democratic Congress issues a claim to the effect of having also devised a foolproof system by which to jealously guard against any attempt to compromise the integrity of the final results of Election 2016.

 

Whatever be the meaning of the preceding observations, one thing is crystal clear, Election 2016 is bound to be an epic contest between the two major political parties in the country. It is also highly unlikely for any aggrieved party to subject itself to the drawn-out annoyances of the Supreme Court. Besides, as the Atuguba-chaired Supreme Court panel that presided over the 2012 Presidential Election aptly and categorically pointed out, elections are fairly and squarely won and lost at the polling staion, not on the bench.

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

Garden City, New York

E-mail: [email protected]

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