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13 political parties back EC to compile new voters’ register

Thirteen political parties have formed a coalition in support of the Electoral Commission’s (EC) proposal to compile a new voter’s register for the December 7 general election.

The parties said the EC explanation to compile a new register was  clear and meant to enhance transparent and credible elections as the current register was  flawed.

The parties are the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG), National Democratic Party (NDP), People’s National Congress (PNC), United Front Party (UPP), Yes People’s Party (YPP), Democratic People’s Party (DPP).

The rest are the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), Reformed Patriotic Democrats (RDP), New Vision Party (NVP), Ghana Freedom Party (GFP), United Love Party (ULP), and Convention People’s Party (CPP).

Speaking at a press conference yesterday in Accra, Leader of the Coalition, Mr Kofi Akpalu said, the constitution mandates the EC to make regulations for effective performance of its functions, particularly registration of voters for the conduct of public elections.

“We also recognise that by reason of Article 46, the EC is an independent body that is no subject to the direction or control of any person or authority in the performance of its functions except as provided in the constitution.

In view of these explicit provisions, when elections do not go well in this country, it is the EC that will be faulted because it is the only constitutional body responsible for conduct of elections,” he said.

Mr Akpalu said it was therefore patriotic obligation on all stakeholders including political parties and civil society organisations to support and cooperate with the EC to discharge its constitution mandate.

“The 2012 register is flawed by the incident that happened at Dzorwulu when we had to vote for two days. Time and again, allegations have come up in the media that the system was hacked to favour the ruling government.

So today, if someone says that a new register may lead to uncertainty of voting and refers to that incident, we must know that it is alleged that two-day voting was deliberate and will not happen again with a new register,” he said.

The Director of Communications of NPP, Mr Yaw Buaben Asamoah,  added that, it would be prudent to acquire a new system rather than refurbish the current system which had become obsolete and unfit for the purpose.

He said, according to the Commission’s Information Technology expert, the amount of money to be spent on refurbishing parts and renewing warranties could be used to acquire a brand new system that is robust, modern and durable.

“The EC, in justifying the need to compile a new register, informed the parties and indeed the general public that the decision is based on advice of its IT team and external consultants to that effect,” Buaben Asamoah said.

BY BERNARD BENGHAN

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