The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has attributed the party’s humiliating defeat in the 2016 general elections to the biometric register party officials used in electing parliamentary candidates of the party.
Conceding that the multi-million cedi register, which was compiled in 2015, had integrity challenges, the party’s chairman, Mr. Kofi Portuphey, says a manual approach to registering delegates in the near future will be considered.
Portuphey, who announced the decision at a press conference in Accra yesterday, said the National Executive Committee had unanimously agreed to scrap the biometric register, following the recommendation of the Prof Kwesi Botchwey Election Review Committee.
“In line with the wishes of the majority of the members of the National Democratic Congress, and in the wake of recommendations made by the election review committee chaired by Prof Botchwey, the National Executive Committee, which is the highest decision-making body after Congress, voted unanimously for the scrapping of the register which was used to conduct our internal elections last year.
“The register, which was meant to be a biometric one, did not meet the standards required to make it qualified to be a biometric register. NEC has decided that we should adopt a manual process of capturing the names of members at all branches nationwide”, he said.
According to him, manual registration would take place between November and December 2017, and would be followed by branch elections in the last week of January 2018.
“What we are doing now is intended to restore the integrity of our register, and will become the basis for the creation of a biometric register. This process would have to be supported by everybody in the party. You have to go back to your roots and register at a polling station at your branch office for the branch to recognize that you are a member. It is meant for only members of the National Democratic Congress,” he stated.
Chairman Portuphey also announced that the party will hold its constituency elections from the 24th to the 25th of March 2018. He added that regional elections will be held on the 9th and 10th of June, 2018, followed by a National Congress, which is slated for 27th to the 29th of July 2018.
It is recalled that the NDC, prior to the election in 2016, commenced the registration of its members through a biometric system, saying it intended to capture about 1.5 million members of the party.
But there were complaints that some non-NDC members took advantage of the biometric registration to be captured onto the party’s database.
Source: Yaw Obeng Manu