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Ahead of voter registration…

PMDC questions credibility of biometric machines  

March 7, 2017 By Mohamed Massaquoi and Elizabeth A Kaine

The National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC), has told Concord Times in an exclusive interview yesterday that they were very much concerned about the credibility and the outcome of the Biometric Voter Registration exercise, which would be undertaken by the National Electoral Commission NEC.

Muniru Ansumana  Yeawoh Koroma said it was regrettable that NEC has embarked on a nationwide recruitment process  without the involvement of political party representatives, adding they were informed that  NEC bought  the biometric equipment using tax payers money from a technology company in the  Netherlands, without conducting proper background check on the credibility of the company in election management.

Koroma further stated that over one thousand people have been recruited without any reference to the respective political parties, adding that up to now, they were  officially  not been informed about the number of voter registration centres in the country.

“The equipment including computers, servers and other items that are being used for the voter registration have not been made public. We are not even aware about the cost of all of these items. Again, it is significant to note that we are not pleased with the joint voter registration with that of the  National Civil Registration Authority,  because it is no secret that all of those working at that institution are card carrying members of the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC). Therefore, they cannot be trusted in keeping the data of voters in this country despite NEC had claimed to be on top of situation,” he said.

He further claimed that APC was allegedly using NEC and the NCRA to deliberately distort figures in localities where members of other political parties might not be physically present, as it was in the case of the 2015 National Population and Housing Census conducted by Statistic Sierra Leone.

“In line with all I have said, PMDC demands that NEC brings all political parties onboard to provide tangible explanations and evidence of independence  as to how the voter registration process is to be carried out. We are also concerned that the biometric registration should go alongside biometric voting as it obtained in other West Africa countries like Ghana, Nigeria among others.NEC must ensure that all electronic materials to be used  for this process be inspected by political parties and independent experts to determine their weakness to harking and other human manipulations,” he concluded.