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Barrister Mike Igini was, until recently, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, for Cross River and Edo States respectively. In this interview, he bares his mind on the use of the card  reader  for the 2015 general elections. Excerpts:

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No society has been able to sustainably develop its human and physical resources to affect the most of its people without a strong values system. The competition of Ideas they say are the vehicles of transformation but even that requires values to guide it. The Danquah Institute recognizes that a society without values is one in retrogression.  The Institute therefore places high premium on the interactions and exposures that help to build confident and patriotic citizens with integrity.

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We study election fraud in a competitive but not fully consolidated multiparty democracy. Results from a randomized field experiment are used to investigate the effectiveness of newly-introduced biometric identification machines in reducing election fraud in Ghana’s December 2012 national elections. We uncover a non-random pattern to the frequent breakdowns of the equipment. In polling stations with a randomly assigned domestic election observer, machines were about 50 percent less likely to experience breakdown as they were in polling stations without observers. We also find that electoral competition in the parliamentary race is strongly associated with greater machine breakdown. Machine malfunction in turn facilitated election fraud, including overvoting, registry rigging, and ballot stuffing, especially where election observers were not present. Our results substantiate that partisan competition may promote election fraud in a newly-established competitive democracy. They also show that domestic election observers improve election integrity through direct observation and also thanks to their second-order effects on election administration. Full Publication

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Credible information available to the New Statesman indicates that the Electoral Commission has prepared a budget of $230 million for a possible compilation of a new biometric voters register for the 2016 general elections.

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Other Stories

The government announced a 30% increase in ex-pump price of petroleum products with the build up covering crude oil price, TOR debt recovery levy, BOST levy, markerting and distribution margins. There is likely not to be cheap conventional oil any longer . for the past decade, global crude oil output has hovered between 62 million barrels per day and 65 million barrels except in 2006 when it reached 67 million barrels before falling to 65 million barrels and has remained there. At the same time upstream investments are not matching the global supply requirement during to increasing demand. The recent global recovery led by Asia and to some extent Latin America has further put pressure on supply. Global demand is ever increasing and will increase further with the growing global economy. Countries are therefore bracing up to the phenomenon of high oil prices. Some are increasing their efforts at alternative energy mainstreaming and others are introducing conservation programmes.
Akufo-Addo meets David Cameron over 2012 elections and gay issues
The 2012 Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, met with British Prime Minister, David Cameron, MP, last Thursday. Nana Akufo-Addo was in London for the two-day (November 10-11, 2011) 11th Party Leaders’ Meeting of the International Democrat Union (IDU), hosted by the UK Conservative Party.
Africa's Chance to Leapfrog the West
You've heard about the African Renaissance, right? The Aid Bosses, once the unquestioned successors in Africa to the joint heirloom of Mother Teresa and Lord Clive of Chennai, are finding it harder and harder to get face time with the political grandees in our wheeling and dealing capitals. The Chinese are fawning all over our oil and copper, forcing once-aloof Westerners to write treatises about why China's engagement with the continent isn't all marshmallow candy.
Global Economic Positioning
As Ken Ofori-Atta of Databank stated at Chatham House recently, “We have not seen such massive destruction of wealth in the history of modern civilisation and I might add also such rapid recreation of capital in the past year. Africa is truly astounded at how quickly the West can mobilise to save their companies when a fraction of those amounts could reinstate the impressive growth trajectory which Africa had achieved.”
Afari Gyan Caught on Pink Sheet Serial Numbers
Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan, Chairman of the Electoral Commission on Monday found it extremely difficult to defend the rationale for the occurrence of pink sheets with same serial numbers and the printing of two sets of pink sheets as contained in the response of the Eectoral commission to the 2nd amended petition and as had been stated by the Electoral Commissioner himself while in the witness box.
Ghana Condemns Coup D'etat In Mali
Ghana yesterday condemned the unwarranted military seizure of power in Mali during the early hours of Thursday, March 22. She has therefore, joined ECOWAS and AU in demanding that the military junta, the National Committee for the Rectification of Democracy and Restoration of the State (CNRDR), and its leader, Captain Amadou Aya Sanogo, take immediate steps to relinquish power and return Mali to legality and constitutional rule.
It horrifies me to hear Nkrumah fanatics like Mr. Bernard Mornah, of the People’s National Convention (PNC), make a boastful claim about how the neo-Fascist regime of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) was righteous in its virtual enslavement of democracy-loving Ghanaians and murderous prosecution of its ironic cause of continental African unification. One also wonders why Mr. Mornah has been allowed to live in Ghana and enjoy the full benefits of a democratic political culture to which he and his ideological associates have contributed zilch, even while recklessly, unconscionably, sacrilegiously and incessantly pretending as if the Danquah-imbued democratic dispensation of Ghana’s Fourth Republic was the worst thing that ever happened to our beloved nation (See “Nkrumah Should Have Shot J. B. Danquah” Ghanaweb.com 2/24/11).
List of successful coup d'etats in Africa
Coup leaders must seize and hold central authority for at least one week to be considered a “successful” coup d’etat. The names of coup “leaders” listed are those named in reports, accusations, and/or subsequent trials. The date of the coup event is the beginning date for successful or attempted coups and the date of announcement for discovered coup plots and coup allegations. Click here for full report
Four years of squandered opportunities
The major concerns facing Ghanaians today include, rising unemployment, especially among the youth, rising cost of living, falling standards of living, falling standards of education (especially at the JHS and SHS levels), collapsing healthcare, collapsing businesses, low business and consumer confidence, and a national sense of hopelessness and despair. Put together a focus group of 10 Ghanaians in any part of the country (exclude the Castle), picked randomly from the streets and ask them what do they think of the Mills-Mahama administration, seven out of ten will mention the following: weak leadership, incompetence, corruption, broken promises, lies and propaganda.
Kenya election: 'Tech hub' hopes take polling day blow
On polling day it was the biometric voter-identification kits that failed. Then, about 36 hours into the counting process, the electronic transmission system shuddered to a halt. This election will be remembered as the poll where paper trumped digital.