18 CSOs rejects Jean Mensa’s proposal for a new Voters’ Register

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A Coalition of 18 major Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) together with key individuals under the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) have jointly signed and rejected the Electoral Commission’s proposal to compile a new voters register, claiming, the EC does not have a comprehensive assessment that can ensure that the new system is a Hobson’s (free) choice.

They also claimed that the EC has not demonstrated or detected any defect with the biometric data used recently, specifically, 2 months ago on a nationwide scale which necessitate spending $70 million on mass registration.

This was declared at a press conference organized by the coalition together with GACC to state their position on the controversial new voter’s register by the EC in Accra.

Vice President of Imani Africa, Dr. Kofi Bentsil, who spoke on behalf of the coalition explained that the controversy surrounding the compilation of a new voters’ register can be resolved by a transparent and sincere evaluation of data which relates to Information Technology (IT).

“This is a controversy over plain facts and values which can be resolved by a transparent and sincere evaluation of data and the evidence, most of it relates to Information Technology over which the EC, as a body, has no inherent expertise, but which IT experts can understand and agree on,” he noted.

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Based on this, the Imani Africa’s Vice President asked the EC of four specific questions including whether Ghana needs a completely new Biometric voters management system, if the country does not require such brand new infrastructure, whether the law empowers the EC to solely determine when to produce a totally new register and whether under the present circumstances, the EC’s current procurement plan for such a system is honest, sensible and defensible.

He continued that based on their observations and guided conclusions, the coalition has rejected proposals for the compilation of a new registers’ register by the EC.

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“We therefore do not support the proposal for the new voters register by the EC. The EC should be canvassing the market for the cost of these equipment, and investigate the possibility of an open-source Central application, as Nigeria has done in recent years,” he advised.

The coalition specifically called on the EC to work together with the National Identification Authority (NIA), as the appropriate, lawfully and financially responsible and justifiable body authorized by law to help in the compilation of electoral data.

“If even we have to spend money in collecting new data, then it is the NIA which must do so and complete its database and the National Identification process, which we were promised would be complete by now,” Kofi Bentsil noted.

The Coalition made recommendations to the EC to open up the electoral register for voters to verify their names, update the existing software in a way to make it efficient, remove names of persons suspected to be dead or who do not verify, work with vendors to prime the hardware and where needed, replace faulty machines and acquire new hardware to augment the existing stock and work with the existing systems.


  1. Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC)
  2. IMANI Africa
  3. SEND Ghana
  4. Africa Centre for International Law and Accountability (ACILA)
  5. Financial Accountability and Transparency – Africa (FAT-Africa)
  6. Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)
  7. Youth Bridge Foundation
  8. West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI)
  9. Citizens Movement against Corruption (CMaC)
  10. Human Rights Advocacy Centre (HRAC)
  11. Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII)
  12. Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI)
  13. Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF)
  14. Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG)
  15. Parliamentary Network Africa (PNA)
  16. Community Focus Foundation Ghana (CFF-Ghana)
  17. PACKS-Africa
  18. Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC)

Source: Eric Nii Sackey || ghananewonline.com.gh

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