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One of the disqualified bidders to provide appropriate technology for the proposed biometric voter registration exercise has filed a suit in court to restrain the Electoral Commission from awarding the contract.

The register is expected to be used for next year’s crucial presidential and parliamentary polls to check electoral fraud and remove any doubts about the authenticity of votes cast.

Lawyers for Intelligence Card Production Systems say they have two main grounds for the court action. The first is that the Electoral Commission allegedly swelled-up pre-qualified companies who entered their bids to secure the multi-million cedi contract to seven when, according to the lawyers, the Procurement Law calls for six pre-qualified bidders.

The second basis for the company’s court action is that the Public Procurement Authority has in a formal letter directed the Electoral Commission not to proceed with the award of the contract for the production of the register, but the Commission appears to have ignored the directive.

The acting Director of Public Affairs of the EC, Christian Owusu-Parry, confirmed receipt of the restraining order on the Citi Eyewitness News of Tuesday August 30, 2011.

Representatives of all political parties in the country had earlier stormed out of a meeting with officials of the EC meant to assess the technology to be used for the Biometric Voters Register

Speaking to Citi News, the Member of Parliament for the Manhyia Constituency, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh who represented the NPP said all the political parties (NDC, NPP, CPP, DFP, GCPP) decided in principle to walk out of the meeting because they were unimpressed with the EC’s processes for selecting the companies to provide the technology to capture the data of qualified voters in the country. If completed in time, the data could be used in the 2012 general elections.

Mathew Opoku Prempeh said the EC failed to involve the parties in the selection of the two shortlisted companies and the parties refused to give their approval to the Electoral Commission’s decision to procure vendors for the biometric registration of Ghanaians without going through due process.

The Manhyia MP said they were further angered when the EC asked the party representatives to sign an undertaking that they were only going to be observers and could not make any comment on the evaluation process of the companies bidding to provide the service.

According to him, there are only five companies certified in the world to undertake registration for biometric voting in countries of over 10 million people and the inability of the EC to provide basic answers to questions such as the certification for the companies selected to undertake the project to enable verification by the various political parties was unacceptable.

Source: Citifmonline.com

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