Kofi Portuphy – NDC Chairman
Barring any hitches, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), will be commencing a nationwide registration of its members by the end of the week.
Reports reaching DAILY GUIDE indicate that the materials for the registration, which is to be done manually after the party had abandoned its expensive biometric exercise, are ready.
A source said the materials are being sent to the regions from the party’s headquarters at Adabraka, Accra, for onward distribution to the constituencies.
The Prof. Kwesi Botchwey election review committee had recommended the scrapping of the biometric register because of its fraudulent nature.
In mid-October, the NDC finally admitted that its biometric register, which it spent millions of Ghana cedis to compile, lacks integrity and credibility and therefore cannot be relied upon for any meaningful internal elections.
They then decided to throw away the register – which was compiled ahead of the 2016 general election – and start a new process of registering NDC members manually.
“The biometric register was well intended but was abused by our operatives and does not meet the standards required to make a credible one, I learnt people have invested heavily in the data capturing book ready to do same when registration starts once again,” National Chairman of the party, Kofi Portuphy, had said at a news conference in Accra on October 17.
He said that all those preparing to perpetrate fraud in the next registration exercise would not succeed because the biometric exercise is no longer to be carried out.
Mr Portuphy said the NDC is not scrapping the biometric project indefinitely but was going to use the manual registration to form the basis for a new biometric data compilation in the near future.
“In line with the wishes of the majority of the members of the NDC, and in the wake of recommendations made by the election review committee, chaired by Prof. Kwesi Botchwey, the National Executive Committee (NEC), 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,” Mr. Portuphy confirmed.
“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 the branch levels nationwide to avoid infiltration and test the real strength of the party,” he submitted.
DAILY GUIDE indicated
DAILY GUIDE had published that the NDC was throwing away the biometric register because of the inherent fraud associated with it, but the party’s gurus came out to deny it vehemently.
But now the chickens have come home to roost as the reality has dawned on them.
The NDC had come out to deny contents of Prof. Kwesi Botchwey Committee’s report as they are being serialized by DAILY GUIDE, but it’s now turning round to implement the same recommendations the newspaper published earlier.
According to the 13-member committee that investigated the cause of the NDC’s massive defeat at the last general elections, the biometric exercise, which was fraught with widespread irregularities, made the NDC to believe that it had the numbers to retain power.
“The register gave a misleading impression of the party’s true strength in some branches and constituencies as some of the aspirants registered non-NDC members in their bid to win at all cost and by all means,” Prof Kwesi Botchwey’s Committee reports.
Former President Rawlings, who is the NDC founder, had also alluded to the fact that some NDC members fraudulently registered some New Patriotic Party (NPP) members in order to defraud the party system.
The committee’s report said the manipulation of the register was real and that had put the integrity of the whole exercise into question.
“The integrity of the biometric register was compromised and a number of the primaries flawed on account of widespread manipulation,” the report said.
By William Yaw Owusu