The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has waded into the row between the Electoral Commission (EC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) over the former’s decision to electronically transmit the results of the elections.
According to the 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.”
The NPP’s Campaign Manager for the elections, Peter Mac Manu said his party kicked against the system, arguing that no law gives the EC power to electronically transfer results
The EC rejected this claim stating that the decision to use the ERTS for the 2016 elections was endorsed by the NPP.
In a statement issued in response to Peter Mac Manu, the EC said: “The Commission has taken note of Mr. MacManu’s public comments about the agreed results transmission process, especially the legality of the said system. We, however, wish to point out that Mr. MacManu was a member of the Legal Committee of IPAC and was intimately and significantly involved in the drafting of the two important regulations C.I.91 and C.I.94 (which regulate registration of voters and the elections). Mr. MacManu also appeared before the parliamentary committee for Subsidiary Legislation chaired by Hon. Osei Bonsu Amoah.”
This was echoed by Johnson Asiedu Nketiah who accused the opposition of acting in bad faith to mislead the electorate, by criticizing the system.
“When we issued the communique, it was signed by everybody. Where were the questions he claims were unanswered and why did he [Mac Manu] sign when his questions had not been answered?”
“There are some parties who feed on the ignorance of the masses and always seek to keep the masses ignorant so they can continue to influence them. We are not one of them, that is why we always come out with evidence-based presentations and we stick by all agreements that we are party to. We’ll not sign a document and come back and claim that the document was altered by somebody else,” Asiedu Nketiah told the media.
By: Edwin Kwakofi/citifmonline.com/Ghana