Regional News Mon, 15 Mar 2004

EC Must Explain ? NDC

Koforidua -- The Eastern Regional branch of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has asked the Electoral Commission (EC) to explain the reasons behind its failure to publish the names of persons who are supposed to act as registration supervisors and officers for the registration exercise which takes off tomorrow.

Quoting Constitutional Instrument (C.I.) 12 (1), the Regional Secretary of the party, Mr Anthony Gyampo, said, ?the commission was supposed to publish, at each registration centre, the names of persons it proposes to appoint as registration supervisors and registration officers.

?Any registered political party or any person qualified to be registered as a voter may make a formal written objection to any person proposed for appointment as a registration supervisor or registration officer within seven days of publication of the names of the proposed officers.?

Speaking to journalists in Koforidua, he indicated that the names of such persons should have by now been published at the respective centres for such objections to be made, but that has not been done, adding that it was an infringement on the rights of the electorate.

?I have been to several registration centres in the Eastern Region and I have not seen a single publication of the names of the proposed registration officers?, he said, adding that people could, therefore, not be able to oppose any choice of the EC when the exercise starts on Tuesday.

He said he had been to registration centres in Adeiso in Upper West Akyem, Asamankese, Lower West Akyem, Akuapem North and South constituencies where he did not find any such publications.Mr Gyampo said the failure of the EC to publish the names of such persons a few days to the exercise, was therefore, a serious breach of the law which it must explain, and postpone the exercise if need be.

According to him, the NDC was committed to the preparation of a more credible register, since the previous one had been labelled as bloated and, therefore, called on the EC to do the right thing according to law to forestall any corruption of the exercise.

?What must be done must be done well, he said, adding that if the necessary preparations were not done correctly, it was likely some affiliates of some political parties could pose as registration officers only to filter unqualified names into the register.

Mr Gyampo also expressed concern about the fact that a few days before the exercise, registration centres had still not been marked for the public to know where they are supposed to go for their registration.He said the posters meant for the mass education were also not sufficient since they are only seen at a few places in town.

Source: Graphic