IPAC meeting on new register controversy ends in stalemate

The Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting on the dispute over the compilation of a new voters’ register has ended in a stalemate.

The meeting was convened at the behest of the Electoral Commission’s (EC) Eminent Advisory Committee, which had called for more dialogue on the issue.

The controversy stems from the EC’s plans to abandon its current biometric verification system and procure a new one which has a facial recognition technology.

The Commission also intends to compile a new voters’ register.

Speaking to the press afterwards on what transpired during the meeting, the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia, said his side was generally satisfied with the meeting and noted that the Advisory Committee is set to officially offer advice to the Commission.

“The committee of eminent persons assured that they have heard all the presentations. They believe that each side has made very reasonable contributions so they are going to formulate their advice and then present it to the Electoral Commission with input on everything that has been said here.”

Despite this, NDC chairman, Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, stressed that no consensus had been formed on the controversy.

“This meeting was indeed inconclusive in terms of accepting the technical capabilities of the proposals the Electoral Commission is bringing,” he explained.

Speaking as part of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) delegation, the Deputy Local Government Minister, Osei Bonsu Amoah, also indicated that the meeting ended in a stalemate.

“We couldn’t have concluded because we came with different positions,” he noted.

But Mr. Amoah said his side expected the EC to go ahead and compile the new register.

“The point has been made that the EC is independent enough. The EC cannot be controlled by any person except what the Constitution provides. If this is the way they want to go and funding has been provided, the best thing is to reason with them, look at some aspects and if we think they can alter [the process], they listen to us and do so.”