EC can’t rely on NIA data – NDC rejects proposal

The opposition National Democratic Congress has rejected attempts to coerce the Electoral Commission to rely on the data being compiled by the National Identification Authority.

At the party’s press soiree on Saturday, 18th January 2020, a leading member of the party and the Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa was emphatic about the NDC’s vehement opposition to the use of NIA’s data as the voters’ register.

“Related to the NIA registration is the attempt to use the NIA registration as a voter’s registration card. We want to serve notice that we in the Volta Region will not accept that and that the NIA card will not serve as a voter registration card” Ablakwa stressed.

Continuing, the MP reminded Ghanaians of the constitutional mandates of both the NIA and the Electoral Commission and pointed out that only the Electoral Commission has the right to compile the voters’ register.

“We’ve seen top government officials make that point. We heard Dr. Bawumia, recently we heard Senior Minister Osafo Maafo say that that is the agenda, that cannot be the agenda. That is not what we passed in Parliament, that’s not what the Constitution says. The Constitution is very very clear about the role of the Electoral Commission. It is their duty to compile a voter’s register” he said.

In their view, as he stated, the National Identification Authority has no business to veer into an area that is not within its jurisdictional boundaries.

“It is our considered opinion, very respectfully, that the NIA has no business venturing into matters of elections” he concluded.

The Head of the National Identification Authority, Professor Kenneth Agyeman Attafuah, in an interview on JoyNews’ Newsfile on Saturday, stressed that the EC could extract the voters’ register from its database since the Authority will soon wrap up with its exercise of registering all Ghanaians across the country.

Several CSOs have also made similar calls to the EC to halt its intended compilation of a new register by relying on the database of the NIA.

While Ghanaians are still mulling over how that would be possible looking at the challenges the NIA faces, the NDC has waded into the discussion with a position that pours cold water on the calls for the EC to extract their data from the NIA.

Source: ABC Newspaper

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