Compilation of new voter’s register: EC holds crunch meeting with political parties

The Electoral Commission (EC) yesterday held a crunch meeting with the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) and other stakeholders on the upcoming voter registration exercise.

The meeting, held under heavy security for more than two hours, aimed at updating participants on the programme for the exercise scheduled to begin later this month.

Key amongst the issues discussed were clustering of  five polling station into one registration centre and other strategies to be deployed to ensure that all voters are registered within the 38 days.

The voter registration exercise starts from June 30 and ends on August 8, 2020.

The meeting was attended by about 50 representatives of political parties and stakeholders including; the National Democratic Congress (NDC) which boycotted the previous IPAC meetings and the People’s National Convention (PNC) which walked out in the last meeting.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP), Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG), Ghana Freedom Party (GFP), Progressive People’s Party (PPP), United Front Party (UFP) and Convention People’s Party (CPP) were also represented.

The Chairman of the PNC, Bernard Mornah told journalist on the sidelines that he was unimpressed with the guidelines presented by the EC as it would disenfranchise many eligible voters.

He explained that the EC said it would spend about seven minutes on a person and register an average of 100 voters per day at one registration centre but with the clustering of five polling stations, which have more than 800 voters each, it would not be possible to register all eligible voters within the proposed six days.

“This is the most illogical meeting and presentation I have observed by the Electoral Commission. Clearly it appears that the EC does not know the head and tail of what it is doing”, he said.

The NDC’s Director of Special Duties, Bede Ziedeng, in an interview, described the meeting as peaceful but added that there were still some lingering issues with the programme presented by EC.

One of the issues, he said was that the 6,000 registration centres that had been put into clusters may not be enough to finish the registration in six days in each cluster.

“At the end of the day, we said, well, the sweetness of the pudding is in the eating. They are the people who say they will do it so we will watch and see how it starts”, he said,

Asked if the party would participate in the registration exercise, he said it would analyse the issues discussed at the meeting and other related issues and take a decision later.

The General Secretary of the NPP, John Buadu, who had few words to describe the meeting, said it was a successful one.

 BY JONATHAN DONKOR

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