Blame EC For Registration Violence

asiedu nketiaThe General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia says officials of the Electoral Commission (EC) must be blamed for the violence which charac-terised the ongoing limited voter registration exercise.

There have been reports of violence especially in the Ashanti Region, prompting the Regional Police Commander to caution the leadership of the two main political parties there, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the NDC, to call their people to order.

Mr. Asiedu Nketia explained that violence erupted at some centres because lawful means for agents to address challenges were sometimes blocked by registration officials.

He indicated that the laws only permit individuals from challenging the eligibility of an applicant but no one has the power to prevent another person from registering.

Mr. Asiedu Nketia stated that party agents felt helpless when “you have registration officers with not-too-holy intentions and they are registering people who ought not to be registered, you cannot force those people out and you cannot also get forms to challenge that registration”.

He added that such a situation forced the party agents to resort to violence, “which is also against the law.”

The NDC general secretary therefore maintained  that the violence at the registration centres were caused by officials of the EC.

“They compromise themselves by whatever means,” he said, adding that their failure to follow laid down rules set by the EC instigated violence.

“I’m not justifying violence but I’m saying that when peaceful means are blocked, that leads naturally to violence,” he clarified.

The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) agreed with Mr. Asiedu Nketia’s sentiments.   The party’s national secretary, Kofi Asamoah-Siaw, in an interview, urged the EC to devise other means through which party agents can effectively monitor the registration.

He pointed out that the attitude of registration officials has rendered party agents helpless to execute their duties.

Mr. Asamoah-Siaw recommended that the best way to avoid conflict at registration centres “is to have a national database for Ghanaians” to make it easier for the EC to verify the nationality and age of applicants”.

“So every month, you will know those who have turned 18 years and you just migrate their data seamlessly,” he added. myjoyonline

 

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