12.4.08

EC admits discrepancies in voter register

The Electoral Commission (EC) has officially admitted that there are discrepancies in the register of voters in the Ashanti Region. Consequently, the commission, in collaboration with the political parties, has formed a nine-member committee to look into the issue and find solutions to the problem to ensure that it does not occur again.



After Sunday’s Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting in Accra, the Director of Public Affairs at the EC, Mr Christian Owusu-Parry, said the committee was made up of two EC members, four representatives of the political parties and one representative each from the Ghana Statistical Service, the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and the security agencies reports the Daily Graphic newspaper. Recently, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) raised concern over alleged bloated voters’ registers in 13 constituencies in the Ashanti Region.



Just after the EC had denied the allegations, the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) said it had also received similar bloated figures from the EC. According to the register that the GCPP had, which it said was obtained from the EC under a cover letter with reference number CIEC.07/SF.13NOL2/100, dated June 14, 2007 and signed by Mr. Daniel K. Amanyo on behalf of the chairman of the EC, some of the figures from some constituencies in the Ashanti Region were as follows: Ejisu-Juaben, 155,042; Ejura-Sekyedumasi, 84,182; Kwabre East, 124,842; Kwabre West, 77,264; Asante-Akim South, 95,444; Asante-Akim North, 129,046. However, the register given by the EC at the IPAC meeting gave the following figures: Ejisu-Juaben, 78,170; Ejura- Sekyedumasi, 38,114; Kwabre East, 62,733; Kwabre West, 38,802; Asante-Akim south, 47,874; Asante-Akim North, 64,683.



Mr Owusu-Parry said the committee was to ascertain the source of the discrepancies, make recommendations in line with its findings, regulate its own procedures and examine related issues that might be referred to it. The political parties have been requested to submit the names of their four representatives so that the committee could start its work and finish it within two weeks.



When reached for his comments, the General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Ohene Ntow, welcomed the decision to set up the committee to go into the issue. "Although this is welcome I think it has taken too long in coming. All the same, it's good that finally we have a committee that involves all the political parties.



I expect that we will get to the button of this matter, clear the issues and quickly establish the veracity and credibility of the voters register," he told the Daily Graphic.The National Organiser of the NDC, Mr. Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, said the party was satisfied that the EC had accepted that there were discrepancies in the voters register.



He said although the commission declined to give reasons for the inconsistencies, he was hopeful that the committee would come out with the cause and make recommendations as to how to avoid future occurrences. Source: Daily Graphic

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