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18 October 2016

NPP decries ‘secret’ EC plans to e-transmit December results

blayThe New Patriotic Party (NPP) has expressed grave concern about the Electoral Commission (EC)’s handling of processes for the electronic transmission of the December 7 election results.

Acting National Chairman of the NPP, Freddie Blay says the Commission has not been transparent with the arrangements despite the major role political parties play in the election process.

“Indeed we are not happy [because] it is one of the issues that we addressed that all [things] being equal in this modern age e-transmission of the results should be the order of the day but it should not be done as if it’s administrative,” he said.

The NPP had urged transparency in the arrangements put in place by the Commission to sublet the e-transmission of the December 7 election results to a private company.

NPP Campaign Manager, Peter Mac Manu had told Joy News on August 2 that the Commission failed to invite political parties to attend a meeting scheduled for the five shortlisted companies to demonstrate their systems.

“First, there is no law which gives the EC the mandate to electronically transmit results. Nothing in the law before Parliament now, C.I.94 makes mention of it,” he said then.

The Commission later discontinued the procurement process for the Election Results Management System (ERMS) citing the failure of the companies to “meet the technical criteria and major deviations from the administrative criteria.”

Mr Blay said the Commission should have involved the parties if it is interested in protecting the sanctity of the process. “What is the integrity of it all?” he asked, saying the NPP “won’t leave anything to EC alone.”

Notwithstanding, he said the NPP will “make sure that there will be a fair election and the result will be what Ghanaians want it to be and not what some of the people, officials and non-officials want.”

Reacting to the issue on the Joy FM’s Midday news programme Monday, EC’s Communications Director, Eric Dzakpasu explained despite the discontinuation of the procurement process, the Commission will still go ahead with the electronic transmitting of the results.

He said the system the Commission would use was piloted in four by-elections held this year and would be demonstrated to the political parties at the appropriate time in order to allay their fears.

Despite the NPP’s claim of non-involvement, Mr Dzakpasu said the Commission has been open with all the political parties from the beginning when the decision was taken at the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting, stressing nothing is shrouded in secrecy.

Source: Myjoyonline.com

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