Politics Thu, 4 May 2006

Five political parties to whip up interest in registration exercise

Accra, May 4, GNA - Five Political Parties on Friday outlined massive publicity programme to whip-up enthusiasm in the ongoing registration exercise and urged the Electoral Commission (EC) to ensure that every eligible voter was captured on the voters' register. The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), National Democratic Congress (NDC), Convention People's Party (CPP), People's National Convention (PNC) and the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) said their national and regional officers had moved to the field to monitor and police the registration exercise.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in separate interviews, Mr Peter Mac-Manu, NPP National Chairman, reiterated the Party's conviction that it was the right of every adult Ghanaian to exercise his or her franchise and, therefore, called on the EC to ensure that all citizens, especially the youth, who have turned 18 years, were given the opportunity to register.

He explained that Article 42 of the Constitution entitled every Ghanaian of 18 years or above, to be registered as a voter for the purposes of elections.

"A duty is, therefore, cast on the EC to ensure that all citizens, who qualify to vote, have their names on the register."

Mr Mac-Manu said under the Constitution, the right to register was not only a civic responsibility but it is also a fundamental human right.

He observed that the exercise had been fraught with issues such as inadequate registration materials, lack of access to the registration centres, which made it impossible for many anxious people to register and urged the EC to address the anomalies.

Mr Mac-Manu said the Party was monitoring the performance of the registration officials and assistants, EC Officials and other logistical provisions for the exercise.

"The voter registration exercise is an important national duty and how effectively it is performed shall be a foretaste of the general outcome of the general election in December 2008," the NPP Chairman stated.

He called on the EC to expedite action to investigate all allegations of anomalies and irregularities that might occur during the registration exercise and to deal with them appropriately. He called on other political parties to educate their members to desist from conduct that would demean the registration process and undermine the electoral process.

The NDC Deputy National Organizer, Mr Yaw Boateng Gyan said the Party had instructed all their regional and constituency officers to monitor; police and to sensitise eligible voters to participate in the exercise.

"Electoral fortunes of any political party depends on its members' participation in the registration exercise. We would ensure that all potential eligible voters register during the period." Mr Gyan said the NDC would monitor any operational challenges that might affect access to the registration centres especially those in the hinterlands to ensure that no person, who had attained 18 years and above and those who could not register in the previous exercises were not denied the opportunity.

He urged EC to address all logistical constraints, especially the provision of cameras for the registration exercise and the photo-taking aspect to go on simultaneously at all the centres. Mr Daniel Lartey, Leader of the GCPP, Professor Nii Noi Dowuona, CPP General Secretary, and Alhaji Abdul Moomin, Acting National Organizer of the PNC, commended the EC for the exercise but urged it to address all logistical constraints especially payment of allowances to registration officials.

The GCPP Leader noted: "We have dispatched our 2008 aspiring parliamentary candidates to monitor the exercise to ensure that we have a strong base in the voters register for electoral victory in Elections 2008."

Source: GNA