Jean Mensa, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission
Jean Mensa, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission

The National chapter, executives and the entire membership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Japan branch has called on all political parties; Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s) to allow the Electoral Commission (EC) put together a new voter register which is more credible, transparent and trustworthy for the 2020 general elections.

The group believes that the quality of the voters’ register played a critical role in the electoral process and an obsolete and incomplete register could not be relied on for an electoral process.

Business24

This was contained in a statement signed by the Acting Communications Director, of the branch, Mr. Kwaku Adu and copied to the media.

The statement said they are in tune with the explanation giving by the EC through their officials and IT experts which raise concerns over the security of the electoral system as one of the key reasons a new voters’ register must be compiled.

They said some issues raised about the commission not owning the source code of the current Voter Management Solutions (VMS), is a situation that subjects the system to manipulation by third parties including vendors, thereby compromising the security and credibility of elections.

They indicated that the EC had issues with the server, storage and networking hardware at the Data centers on which BVMS applications run on being obsolete and reaching its “end of life” and “end of support.

Other issues being raised are that the contractual agreements that were entered into with the vendor of the system before its acquisition in 2011 did not make provision for the commission to own the source code of the software solution.

The EC is of the view that the unavailability of source code had hindered the efforts of the commission to build in-house capacity and to recruit skilled Information Technology (IT) professionals to man the system.

The commission has also put on record that the vendor of the system had since 2012 charged the EC a maintenance fee of $4 million per annum to also manage the data center that needed to be updated for $15 million before the December elections.

The EC has said they are ready to acquire a new data center at $6 million, exclusive of tax to help save the country some money every annum.

The statement said some IT experts such as Dr. Yaw Ofori Agyei, an IT Consultant, also hinted at a risk of data loss with the current system as there is no backup or data recovery plan.

According to him, under the current system, there are no checks and balances in the system to determine if some records were missing.

The group believes that the arguments raised by the EC concerning a new voter’s register are on the right course and as well-meaning Ghanaians living in the diaspora, they are convinced that a new voter register is the way forward.

They are of the view that the excessive demonstrations being organized by the CSO’s and the opposing political parties will not produce the needed solution to the issues raised, however, deliberation and putting practical knowledge together is the surest way to addressing this issues.

They, therefore, urged all Ghanaians to avail themselves and participate fully when the EC opens for the registration exercise which will take place between April and May 2020.

By Kwaku Solomon/https://mybrytfmonline.com

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