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Politics Thu, 1 Oct 2015

Stop buying time and act – LMVCA to EC boss

The leadership of the Let My Vote Count Alliance (LMVCA) has accused the chairperson of the Electoral Commission Charlotte Osei of "buying time" to delay the need for a new voters’ register.

According to the convener of LMVCA David Asante, the EC boss got it wrong when she told the media the pressure group had already petitioned the electoral body and there was no need to “shout” about it.

“Mrs Charlotte Osei, said to the media that the Let My Vote Count Alliance could simply send a petition "without shouting" about it. She went on to speculate that we had already sent a petition to her.

“We wish to place on record that we have not sent any petition to the EC. All the attempts made so far by us to picket and present our petition have been frustrated by the State. We have been pelted with rubber bullets, sprayed with tear gas, bombed with hot water cannons, lashed with horsewhips and battered with batons by the Police all in our efforts to demonstrate to the EC our campaign for a new, credible register,” a statement from the LMVCA said.

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It added: “On her point that we can present a petition quietly and that there is “no need to shout”, it is a matter of opinion. As a former Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education, Mrs Osei, is fully aware that the 1992 Constitution expressly guarantees the right to demonstrate. Article 21(1)(d) of the Constitution grants the “freedom of assembly, including freedom to take part in processions and demonstrations” to every citizen. We hope it is not to suggest that she is against Ghanaians exercising their democratic right to use demonstration as a legitimate means of sending a message to the EC, the body authorised to help give representative meaning to our democracy…

“First, we are concerned by her slow-paced approach to answering the question of whether or not Ghanaians will get a new register for 2016. The Commission, after asking for proposals in August and receiving them in September, has now set the end of October for each of the political parties, including the Freedom Party, to make a thirty-minute oral presentation in support of documents already presented.

“We believe this is either an incompetent and superfluous manner of going about dealing with this most important issue or simply a deliberate tactic on the part of the EC to delay taking a decision so that by the time it finally takes one we might all find it practically too late to begin the actual process of getting a new register.”

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