Dear Madam Chairperson ,
POLITICAL PARTIES CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENT AND CREATING A MORE CREDIBLE BVR WITH CI 91
On behalf of the office of JOY2012 and my own accord, have no shadow of doubt to your commitment and adherence to the constitution and electoral laws of Ghana to create a more credible Biometric Voter Register (BVR) and deliver the best ever elections in Ghana’s history.
It is better to err on the side of the law than unpredictable discretionary processes open to subjective criticism.
In the following two subtitles, I am persuading the Commission under your leadership, firstly to pursue your decision not to also superintend unconstitutionality of political parties’ operation since 1992 of the Fourth Republic.
Secondly, the Supreme Court counsel given on 5 May, 2016, for the commission not to refuse to listen to common sense from well meaning Ghanaians for your Independent Operations granted by article 46 of the 1992 constitution alone. But being mindful of the choice to take free-will initiative to create a more credible elections for the stability of the nation.
POLITICAL PARTIES CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENT
The depth of your understanding of our constitution and firm respect of the laws has made it imperative by your profession as a constitutional lawyer to awake the unreflective constitutional requirement and operations of political parties in the minds of Ghanaians. This is in line with the 1992 constitution article (55) and political parties’ law 2000, Act 574.
The above prompting will not only sanitise pseudo political parties activism in our national discourses but will also serve as a gateway in nurturing respect of the law by real and active political parties.
The prompting has moreover, demonstrated how under your able leadership, you want the Commission to correct the unconstitutionally supervision of the operations of political parties in the Fourth Republic. Though it's unacceptable error, tantamount to suspension of the constitution by coup d’etat, it has piloted pseudo multiparty democracy in Ghana.
However, from hindsight the results have been mostly mediocre political parties activism and lawlessness perpetrated without scruples. My team and Ghanaians are interested to know how All People Congress (APC) party was given its certificate to operate under your leadership. Especially, in line the 1992 constitution and current laws.
The legal team of JOY2012, would like to remind your offices as per your own letter, date 5 April, 2016, Ref C/EC.07/Vol 3/225. The said sought to remind all political parties to comply with the 1992 constitutional requirement and political parties’ law 2000 Act 574. Also, regulation 32 of CI 91 for 2016 elections, clearly defines what an active political party is. These are to sanitise and perfect elections and political parties legal operations in Ghana from thence.
There is no iota of doubt of likeminded Ghanaians, political parties, CSOs and other legal brains, that your leadership and offices need Supreme Court interpretation of unconstitutional operations by political parties that fail to meet the requirement of Article (55) of 1992 constitution. There is no discretionary sanction to unconstitutionality except as spelt out in 1992 constitution Article
(1) clause (2).
It is our humble and firm believe that, your good offices will make a clearest statement of your leadership resolve and integrity to organise the best election ever, by NOT attempting to renege your good intended compliance letter or take discretionary sanctions in dissonance to the 1992 constitution. For only those who are oriented to the philosophy of coup d’tat might plead for the suspension of constitutional requirement!
Our intention of this letter is for the EC not to waste precious time and legal cost by plaintiffs’ teams which we will pray the SC to surcharge the EC if we won, estimated to be GHS 200,000.
CREATING CREDIBLE BVR FROM CI. 91 FOR 2016 ELECTIONS
THE SC judgement on 5 May, 2016, writ No. J1/14/2016, by Plaintiffs Abu Ramadan and another against the Electoral Commission is another triumph of supremacy of our constitution and impeccable judgement by the Justices, taking into consideration any form of weaknesses in the 1992 constitutional provisions and electoral laws with regards to Biometric Technology.
I would like to draw the EC’s attention to the wise counsel given by the SC in response to issue 9, as stated on page 32 of the judgement and summarised below.
Issue 9: Whether or not the EC is bound by suggestions from citizens and other stakeholders as to how the EC must carry out its constitutional function of compiling and or revising the voters register.
Court’s answer: The court answered that, there is no law that obliges the EC to be complied but nonetheless noted that the EC lost nothing in consulting and listening, to suggestions from others, since that had the tendency to engender participation and public confidence in the electoral process and trust in the outcome.
It is in line with building public confidence that I suggest the the following solution inherent but dichotomised in CI 91 regulation 23 and 27.
THE UNDISPUTED PHILOSOPHY IN ALL ADVANCED NATIONS IS THAT ALL TECHNOLOGY MUST HAVE LEGAL APPLICATION WITHIN THE RESPECTIVE NATIONS’S JURISDICTION. That is the principle of putting new wine in new wine skin from The Bible, Mark 2:22.
On one hand, CI 91, Regulation 27 (2a and 2b) enumerated in detail (Certified Voters’ Register) the law of verification process for all data types especially software or in this case BVR for AFIS technical requirement.
On the other hand, Regulation 23 (Exhibition of Voters’ Register) depicts Validation process to complete TECHNICAL REQUIREMENT for PROPER APPLICATION OF ALL TYPES OF DATA Software in this case BVR for AFIS. However, Regulation 23 failed to enumerate in detail the LAW for the VALIDATION process of BVR for AFIS.
However, Regulation 23 amply supported the Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) technology Voters’ register used for the 2008 elections but nullifies one of the most important justification and advantages derived from BVR technology – the prevention of garbage into the AFIS. So Regulation 23 is a LAW for outdated or non existent technology. This is the root cause of confusion as to how to resolve the need to create a more credible BVR for 2016 elections.
In view of the above anomaly, the verification process as stated in CI 91, Regulation 27a and 27b will not endear a credible BVR but rather precious time to verify the dead, minors and possible foreigners.
The Solution is to include in Regulation 23, the physical presence of the SAME VOTER that Regulation 27a and 27b try to VERIFY in order to CERTIFY the register. IF THIS IS NOT DONE THE BVR WILL BE BEDEVIL WITH ABOUT 1.5M OF THE DEAD IN 2020 ELECTIONS. What we need is to include in Regulation 23 by amending Sub-regulation 2a as follows;
2. Any existing registered voter who intends to cast his/her vote for impending elections
(a) During the exhibition period
(i) Shall place his/her fingers on the Automatic Finger Identification System (AFIS) in the presence of the Exhibition Officer and other stakeholders to ascertain that the particulars on the Voter’s Identification Card are the same as the particulars contained in the provisional register of voters
(ii) The Exhibition Officer in the presence of other stakeholders will ascertain the facial and personal data of the Voter both on the AFIS and Voter’s Identification Card
(iii) In case of any discrepancy, the Voter will request the Exhibition Officer to make the necessary correction in the provisional register.
From technical point of view let me explain why verification and validation are perform for all computer-based data to ensure maximum benefit of applications. This is to mitigate computer garbage in garbage out axiom
The terms Verification and Validation are commonly used in software engineering to mean two different types of analysis. The usual definitions are:
Verification: Are we building the Biometric Voter Register (BVR) right? Verification will help to determine whether the AFIS is of high quality, but it will not ensure that the BVR is useful. It is objective process involving testing if the AFIS is able to distinctively applied individual Voter in the BVR to corresponding fingerprints to depict multiple registration. The design analysis to depict Voters’ Demography, Voter turnout and specification analysis, such that if the various challenge and amendment forms are expressed precisely enough, no subjective judgements should be needed in order to verify AFIS. Verification is the process of checking that the BVR meets the specification. Regulation 27a and 27b amply invokes the law.
Validation: Are we building the right BVR? In other words, validation is concerned with checking that the BVR will meet the constitutional actual needs of one man one vote, a Ghanaian and above 18years with fairly accurate results of actual voter turnout for elections and no room for possible ballot stuffing. It involves making subjective assessments of how well the BVR addresses a real-world needs aforementioned. Validation is the process of checking whether the specification captures the customer’s needs. Regulation 23 fails to invoke a law related to BVR application.
Article 46 of the 1992 grants your Independence but does not prevent the EC to take honest and good operational initiatives to enhance best supervision of elections.
Martin Luther King Jr. Opined, “ nothing in all the world is more dangerous than SINCERE IGNORANCE and CONSCIENTIOUS STUPIDITY”. Our political space without reservation has mostly taken over by the these two dangers, sadly and especially conscientious stupidity endangering the precious lives of all in Ghana.
The EC may not be charge for any unlawful act in its independent operation granted by the 1992 constitution and being guided by the SC direction to delete/clean, the NHIS/the dead/minors and possibly foreigners by using the suggested amended Sub-Regulation 23(a) above. The period of continuous registration if effectively and efficiently utilised can help create a better BVR in line with Regulation 27 of CI 91.
The office of JOY2012 and my accord, would like to thank you for your time to read the above duo pleads and we are very confident of your urgent response by 2 June, 2016 to enable see how we may contribute positively towards the November elections.
Jacob Osei Yeboah
(Independent Presidential Candidate 2012 for 2016)
The Office of Speaker of Parliament
The Office of Chief Justice
National Peace Council (NPC)
National Election Security Task Force (NEST)
Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC)
Source: Jacob Osei Yeboah
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