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New voters' register is unnecessary - NDC's Otokunor tells EC

By Mutala Yakubu
Peter Otokunor
Peter Otokunor

Peter Otokunor the Deputy General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) says the country does not need a new voters' register now.

Peter Otokunor said if the Electoral Commission's reasons for the compilation of a new register is the high rate of manual verification, then the problem is with the software, not the voters’ register.

Mr. Otokunor speaking on Joy News’ news analysis programme, PM Express Wednesday, said it has nothing to do with the voters’ register, it is the software instead and all you have to do to make it run efficiently is to refurbish the software.

“If these systems are refurbished and we observe the conditions under which they work, we will not get high rate or incidence of manual verification,” he stated.

READ ALSO: EC submits budget for new voters' register

The EC on Tuesday, December 17, 2019, asked Parliament to approve ¢444,846,663 for the compilation of a new voters’ register prior to the 2020 general election.

The NDC has voiced their displeasure over the move and has criticised the EC of not giving them a listening ear.

They believe the EC is purposefully attempting to disenfranchise some people with the new register.

Mr. Otokunor during the show admitted that the current system used by the Commission often fails to function under high temperatures, but was quick to add that the solution does not lie in a change of the register.

“…The ones you will buy can work under high temperature but under certain circumstances, it does not work, and you have to resort to manual verification, will you change the entire register again?” he quizzed.

The NDC’s Deputy General Secretary further accused the EC of taking ¢25 million in 2018 to refurbish the system but failed to do so, which resulted in the challenges currently being encountered.

READ ALSO: CODEO advises EC to dialogue with political parties over new voters' register

He stressed, “There is a fundamental reason we are facing this challenge, let's uproot the challenge and solve the problem.”