Regional News Mon, 15 Mar 2004

Preparations ready for voters' registration exercise

Koforidua, Mar. 15, GNA- All the 2,607 registration centres in the Eastern Region have been supplied with the necessary logistics for the voters registration exercise from March 16 to 29, the Eastern Regional Electoral Officer, Mr Samuel Ntow, said on Monday. Speaking in an interview with the GNA, he said two registration officials are manning each of the centres while a photographer and a laminator are to join them later for the photographs of the registered voters.

Mr Ntow said registered voters in the Eastern Region are to have their photos taken between May 6 to 13, adding that 85 new registration (polling) centres have been created in the region with the New Juaben Municipality getting ten more, the highest number among the 15 districts in the region. He advised all registered political parties to assign their agents to each of the centres to ensure maximum transparency in the exercise and urged the agents to be vigilant to check and challenge any suspected alien or under 18 years who might attempt to register.

Mr Ntow announced that District Registration Review Committees (DRRC) have been set up to sit on all Challenged Forms filled by party agents against a suspected disqualified persons. He explained, however, that a person who is challenged should still be allowed to register but the Challenge Form would be kept separate and forwarded to the DRRC for adjudication later. The DRRCs are composed of a District Electoral Officer as the Secretary, the District Police Commander, the District Director of Education or their representatives, a representative of each active political party in the district and a representative of the traditional council.

Any appeal against a decision of a DRRC shall be laid before a Chief Registration Review Officer who is the Supervising High Court in the region whose decision shall be final and binding on the DRRC. Mr Ntow said in order not to disturb the education system, the Electoral Commission relied mostly on unemployed Senior Secondary School graduates to be recruited as registration officials, except in a rural areas where only teachers are academically fit to perform the job. He warned the public against any attempt at double or multiple registration since the culprit would be exposed when the photographs are taken.

Source: GNA