8 November 2012

Ghana: NPP, NDC Unhappy With Time Allotment for Verification On Voting Day

Photo: AEP
President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana is the candidate of the National Democratic Congress in the 2012 elections.

On the part of the NPP MP for Aburi-Nsawam, till date the EC has not fulfilled its constitutional mandate in making available to the political parties copies of the certified voters and provisional register.

"The CI 72 says that three months after the registration exercise, every party has to get the provisional register but as we speak, it has not been made available to us. This is worrying," he intoned.

The MP also expressed concern about the breakdown of some BVR machines during the registration process and wondered when that scenario happens during the day of the election, the EC would be forced to suspend the exercise as spelt out in the regulations governing the elections.

The sentiments expressed by the aforementioned personalities were not different from that shared by the ruling National Democratic Congress' (NDC) representative, Hudu Yahaya and representatives of the other political parties.

In the wisdom of the NDC linchpin, the time allotment for the verification exercise was going to pose major challenge for the EC on the Election Day since it was likely to disenfranchise some voters from voting in the presidential and parliamentary elections.

"The test of the verification at the moment averages about two minutes to be processed. If you look at 7:00 am to 12:00 pm, it is about five hours and this will give you 600 minutes. That means that from 7:00 am to 12:00pm, only 300 voters would have been verified to exercise their franchise. And when you look at 12:00pm to 5:00pm, it is about five hours. Again, you will notice that only 300 voters would have been verified to exercise their franchise. In most registration centers, we have about 500-1,000 voters and with this time allotment, I foresee that some voters would be disenfranchised," he explained.

According to him, it was time the EC take a critical look at the time allocation for the verification to ensure that it does not compromise on the integrity of the elections.

Another issue he raised was the lost of names in the BVR during the exhibition exercise. He expressed the hope that as the polls draw nearer, the EC would put measures in place to address the concerns that were coming out.

In a statement prior to engaging the presidential candidates and representatives of the political parties, Chairman of the EC, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan promised that the EC would work in a transparent manner, without favour to any party or candidate but hinted that that could only be achieved under peaceful conditions, devoid of violence, intimidation and cheating.

"I wish to state at the outset that the Ghanaian people have a right to a credible election. They deserve it and they yearn for it. We cannot disappoint them. To this end, the EC and all the principal actors in the upcoming elections should have the same objective: to conduct their various activities in such a way as to facilitate the holding of free, fair, and transparent elections," he noted.

Present at the event were the presidential candidates of the United Front Party (UFP), Akwasi Addae, a.k.a. Odike, Great Consolidated Peoples Party (GCPP), Henry Lartey and the Independent Presidential candidate, Jacob Osei Yeboah.

The presidential candidates of the NPP, NDC, PPP, CPP were all represented by some party executives. Conspicuously missing at the event was the Peoples National Convention (PNC).

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