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Politics of Monday, 5 November 2012

Source: Daily Guide

EC registers 449 Ghanaians overseas

The Electoral Commission (EC) has registered 449 Ghanaians residing abroad to cast their ballot in next month’s presidential elections to select Ghana’s next president.

Chairman for Electoral Affairs Directorate of the NPP and MP for Manhyia Constituency in the Kumasi Metropolis, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, confirmed the report to DAILY GUIDE in an interview.

He gave the figures of the registered persons as London, 49; Cuba, 15; Togo, 7; Ivory Coast, 13; Senegal, 21; Liberia, 27; Egypt, 20; Algeria, 28; Morocco, 49; South Africa, 43 and Ethiopia, 36.

The rest were India, 17; South Korea, 23; China, 20; Spain, 3; Nigeria, 30; Geneva, 20; Rome, 16; Berlin, 27; Moscow, 34; Brazil, 13; New York, 55; Washington, 23 and Malaysia, 12.

Dr. Prempeh personally expressed strong reservations about the whole affair, alleging that the overseas registration by the EC was done in a discriminatory manner.

He wondered why the EC decided to leave out thousands of other Ghanaians living outside the country and rather registered a chosen few that worked in the various Ghana High Commissions in the aforementioned countries.

Dr. Prempeh stated that since the election was a national affair, he expected the EC to cast its net wide by allowing every eligible Ghanaian overseas to register and also exercise their franchise.

He also expressed worry about the fact that the EC allowed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to sponsor the registration of the overseas voters, insisting the EC, being an independent body, should have done the exercise on its own without outside help.

Asked if the NPP was afraid all the 449 registered persons in overseas might be NDC supporters, Dr. Prempeh stated that his worry was how the EC would conduct the proxy voting so that it could not lead to abuse.

He emphatically stated that the EC ought to convince Ghanaians that the proxy would not be a backdoor through which the biometric process would be abused.

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