According to the Coalition, the register and the IT system only needed an upgrade and not to be entirely discarded.
Mr. Kofi Bentil, the Spokesperson for the Coalition, announced the CSOs position at a news conference it organized on Thursday, January 17, 2020 in Accra.
From information gathered before, during and after the press conference yesterday, the CSO’s who are supposed to be the watch dog and give a neutral assessment of the situation acted in bad faith.
Interestingly, the Electoral Commission was also holding a meeting with a section of the Civil Society Organizations yesterday (Thursday) at the same time their press conference was going on.
The Electoral Commission invited leaders of the CSO’s to a meeting to brief them on its plans to compile a new voters’ register ahead of the 2020 election.
However, a day before the meeting, the EC got wind that the CSO’s had prepared a statement which they were planning to present to the press irrespective of the outcome of the meeting.
A copy of the said statement was made available to the EC the night before the meeting.
At the EC’s presentation to the CSO’s and true to the prediction, one of the CSO representatives was asked to inform the Commission to stop their presentation in the midway as they (CSO’s) wanted to ask their questions before their purported press conference at 1PM on Thursday.
While still in discussions a number of the CSO’s left the meeting room to hold the planned press conference which the EC had got wind of the previous night.
Why didn’t the CSO’s take time to listen to the EC’s presentation and ask relevant questions rather than exposing themselves with the press conference?
It’s interesting to note that the CSO statement prepared prior to the meeting with the EC is the very same one released to the press.
Such deceit. Such bad faith. The whole exercise was a sham as the CSO’s had no intention of genuinely engaging with the Electoral Commission to arrive at solutions in the interest of Mother Ghana.
The question is in whose interest were the CSO’s serving?
Were they representing the society or were they there to serve their parochial interest. It’s a shame what has happened to the Civil Society.
It seems a few persons have found an avenue to deceive the public and throw dust into the eyes of the people they claim to represent.
The Coalition includes the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition, IMANI Africa, SEND Ghana, Africa Centre for International Law and Accountability, Financial Accountability and Transparency Africa, Media Foundation for West Africa, Youth Bridge Foundation, West Africa Civil Society Institute, Citizens Movement against Corruption, and Human Rights Advocacy Centre.
The others were the Ghana Integrity Initiative, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Women in Law and Development in Africa, Institute for Democratic Governance, Parliamentary Network Africa, Community Focused Foundation Ghana, PACKS-Africa, and Integrated Social Development Centre.
The Electoral Commission had called a meeting on Thursday on the need to understanding the need for a new Biometric Voter Management System.