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Voter registration exercise: EC registers over 4.4m in 2nd week …G/A tops with 20.9% registered voters

The Electoral Commission (EC) has so far registered a total number of 4,445,346 voters during the second week of on-going registration exercise meant for this year’s General Election.

Out of the figure, the Greater Accra Region leads with 20.9 per cent of the registered voters with Ashanti Region following with 18.4 per cent and the Eastern Region at a distant third with 9.5 per cent while the Central Region followed with 9.4 per cent and North East Region trailing at bottom with 1.7 per cent.

Dr Bossman Asare, Deputy Chairman of the EC in charge of Corporate Affairs made this known yesterday during the third session of the weekly press briefing dubbed, “Let the Citizen Know,” a medium being used by the Commission to clarify all processes and activities ahead of the General Election.

He gave the total numbers of registered voters per the regions as Ahafo Region 86,498, Ashanti 816,481, Bono 177,424, Bono East 163,680, Central 415,799, Eastern 421,467, Greater Accra 929,366, North East 76,854, Northern 254,575, Oti 83,799, Savannah 78,410, Upper East 147,365, Upper West 115, 281, Volta 274,063, Western 287,222 and Western North 117,062.

“I need to stress at this point that the figures we give now are provisional. When the registration is over and all the processes including porting of the data are consummated, the Commission will announce the final figures for each region for the information of all stakeholders and all actors are encouraged to reach out to the Commission regarding any discrepancies in the figures,” he said.

He said if the current trend continued, it was likely that the Greater Accra Region alone would constitute more than 20 per cent of the total registered voters in the country, adding that the numbers from the Central Region were clear of population shift towards the Awutu, Effutu and Gomoa areas of the Central Region.

“Though, the Commission still has another four weeks of registration ahead, there are patterns that are clearly pointing to regions where population is declining and those that are seeing an increase in population,” he said.

Dr Asare said it would be helpful to stress that the 4,445,346 registered constituted almost 30 per cent of the projected figure of 15 million the EC was likely to register, “consequently, in the next few weeks, we are anticipating to register about 10.5 million people.”

Touching on other issues of concern, he said the registration for applicants in the Senior High Schools with no registration centres took place on Friday and Saturday adding that the Commission was still looking at the option of going back to these schools in the course of the week to register those who did not have the chance to register.

He said this was because reports reaching the Commission indicated that, in most of the schools, the team could not even register 50 per cent of them adding that the Commission was unaware of any injunction by any court.

“In our endeavour to ensure that every Ghanaian who qualifies is given the chance to register, the Commission will also have a mop-up registration for all those who will not be captured during the main phase of the registration exercise,” he said.

Dr Asare said it has come to the notice of the Commission that political party agents at the registration centres were collecting the voter ID cards and take details from the cards including their telephone numbers, saying, “the Commission wishes to clearly state that, this is not part of the electoral laws, and agents of political parties should desist from that.”

He said as corollary to challenges, the District Registration Review Committees in the various districts have started sitting to check whether those who have been challenged qualify to register and vote at centres where they were challenged.

Dr Asare said in absolute terms, the Greater Accra has the highest number of challenged cases with about 1,391,”however, as percentage of the total number of  registered voters in each region, Oti Region leads with 0.5 per cent, followed by Ahafo with 0.42 per cent and Volta 0.39 per cent.”

Dr Asare advised parliamentary candidates and operatives of political parties to desist from transporting people from one district to the other to register when they know very well that the people were not residents of the district where they want to register.

BY LAWRENCE MARKWEI

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