16 November 2012

Ghana: No Verification Machine, No Voting - Afari Gyan

The biometric verification machine was the subject of a heated controversy between the two main political parties, the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) some months ago.

Whereas the NPP were calling for the use of the machines to guard against multiple voting, the NDC argued that the machine will only make the electoral process cumbersome.

Addressing a selection of news editors Thursday, EC Chairman, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan, revealed that the biometric verification process has been inculcated into the law backing the December 7 polls and as such the unavailability of the verification machine would mean voting would have to be suspended.

The EC Chairman added that after pondering on several scenarios in the event of a breaking down of a verification machine, the EC concluded that "no verification machine, no voting".

Dr. Afari Gyan added that the EC would however make available back-up verification machines to ensure the smooth running of the process.

With barely three weeks to the polls, the EC also announced that it has increased the number of polling stations from 23,000 to a little over 26,000, with each polling station catering for an average of 700 voters.

In all, about 14 million voters are expected to take part in the crucial December polls.

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