Koforidua, Aug. 16, GNA - The two leading political parties in the country, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), have expressed mixed reactions about the just ended voter registration exercise in the Eastern Region.
While the NPP was satisfied with the performance of the Electoral Commission (EC) and its staff and the way they conducted the registration exercise, the NDC was of the view that the EC came across as ill- prepared for the exercise, and shortages of registration materials disenfranchised many youths through no fault of theirs.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), the Eastern Regional Secretary of NPP, Mr Alecs Agobo, commended the EC for a good work done especially in Fanteakwa constituency.
He said the Fanteakwa constituency was big and rural, and it rained during the greater part of the registration exercise, yet the EC officials were able to brave the situation and moved around to register people.
Mr Agobo also expressed satisfaction with the response to the registration exercise and explained that the number might have increased because some people who had misplaced their voters' identity cards also joined the queues to register.
Mr Agobo said there were shortages of lamination materials in the region and the EC had to issue registration forms without serial numbers, which sparked off some complains.
He was of the view that there was no need for the political parties to worry because, later the EC ordered its officials to number the forms and the party agents took down those serial numbers and so those forms would not pose problems.
Mr Anthony Gyampoh, Eastern Regional Secretary of NDC, on the other hand observed that the whole registration exercise leaves much to be desired, despite the fact that there were not many incidents in the region, except for a few isolated cases at the initial stages of the exercise.
He said the shortages of registration materials all over the place made the party to believe that many people were disenfranchised through no fault of theirs, and explained that in some of the cases some people had to walk for many kilometers to registration centres, because of lack of registration materials.
Mr Gyampoh said it was clear that some of the electorates who could not stand the situation refused to go back to register after two or more days.
He complained about the release of registration materials without serial numbers getting to the end of the registration exercise, and explained that such materials could encourage malpractices, since it made it difficult for the party agents to record the last numbers at the end of the day or the starting serial numbers on the forms used to start the day.
Mr Gyampoh however commended the NDC party agents for their vigilance throughout the exercise and urged them to keep it up and prepared for a greater task ahead on the elections day to ensure the party wins the election come December 07.