The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has accused the Electoral Commission (EC) of not being transparent enough about the proposed Electronic Results Transmission System (ERTS) for December’s elections.
The party’s campaign manager for the 2016 elections, Peter Mac Manu, made this comment in response to statements by representatives of the EC and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), that the NPP had agreed to the electronic transmission of results during the election, which he decribed as “propaganda.”
According to him, the parties had agreed to electronically transmit results from the collation centers in the constituency to the EC’s Headquarters.
He claims however, that the EC’s advertisement in the newspapers had requested for persons to help with the transmission of results from the polling stations to the collation centres, which they had not agreed to.
“We must distinguish between what we signed off in the IPAC reforms committee and what was advertised in the dailies.What we signed off was under a broad headline, a national collation centre to be set up instead of the usual strong room. Under that banner, it was decided that we should scan and send electronically to the EC headquarters, the details of results at the constituency collation centers. This is not what appeared in the Daily Graphic in the form of an advertisement eliciting companies to bid for the electronic transfer of 29, 000 polling station results to the Electoral Commission collation centre,” Peter Mac Manu said on Eyewitness News.
“I don’t see why the NDC can’t see the difference between the two, they are different things. The Electoral Commission has secured handheld scanners or has budgeted for them. If it has been procured, why is there an advert in the newspapers eliciting companies to bid for the procurement of electronic operations to transfer results electronically? I don’t get it.”
Mac Manu stated that the inconsistent messages from the EC highlighted the failure of the election management body to
“In election management and election processes whatever stage you are in, you must demonstrate openness and transparency, inclusivity, accuracy, professionalism, impartiality and independence. These are the values or attributes I expect at every stage in the process. If you advertise that we don’t know about, you aren’t been open and transparent or inclusive. Maybe Asiedu Nketiah knows but I don’t know, NPP doesn’t know. The PPP as well, reading from their letter, also don’t know. So the EC is not demonstrating inclusivity, which is a big value for any management body,” Peter Mac Manu said.
NPP ‘misleading’ voters
NDC, the claims by the NPP that EC’s proposed Electronic Results Transmission System (ERTS) is unconstitutional and cannot be used are deceptive as several other rules which have governed successful elections in the past have not been backed by the country’s laws.
They admitted that while the ERTS has no legal backing, an agreement had been between the EC and the political parties at the Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting, to which the NPP was a party, on the rules which would and would not have constitutional backing.
“There’s no law backing the electronic transmission. When you are dealing with elections, there are some aspects that are administrative and others that are covered by subsidiary legislation – CIs and LIs and others that are covered by the constitution. It’s not everything that should be backed by law. Many of the things, like the compilation of results, are governed by rules established by the EC. When we arrived at this decision, we indicated which of the rules would be constitutional amendments, which would go into subsidiary legislation and which would go into the training of their staff,” the General Secretary of the NDC Johnson Asiedu Nketia said.
“I’m sorry if anyone is saying that a particular thing must be provided for by either the constitution or subsidiary legislation is either misleading the public or doesn’t know what they’re about, or both.”