Politics of Tuesday, 5 March 2013
George Gyabaah, Brong-Ahafo Regional Director of the Electoral Commission (EC) on Monday recommended the need for the Commission to register Ghanaians who turn18 years on yearly basis.
This, he said, would minimise the challenges encountered nationwide when the registration of eligible voters is done prior to a general election.
He said the law indicates that anyone who had attained 18 years is eligible to be registered as a voter by the EC.
Mr Gyabaah gave the recommendation at an Electoral Review Meeting organised by the EC in collaboration with KAB Governance Consult, a governance and media consulting firm in Accra in Sunyani.
It was sponsored by the United Kingdom Agency for International Development, under the Department of Foreign and International Development (DFID).
The two-day meeting is being attended by journalists, presiding officers, representatives of political parties, local election observers and EC officials to create a platform for the Commission and its collaborators to assess the impact of the project “Enhancing the Credibility of Ghana’s 2012 Elections”.
In addit0ion, it would obtain feedback from stakeholders to inform the Commission and its collaborators to guide them in the conduct of future elections and the design of future projects.
Mr Gyabaah also advocated the use of Biometric Verification Devices (BVDs) during the exhibition of Provisional Voters Register, in order that those whose fingerprints could not be accepted by the BVD could be recommended to be part of those with permanent trauma and verified during polling day by photographs.
He called for a review of representations by the political parties on the District Registration Review Committees since their presence in some areas do not help the process but rather made it political.
Mr Gyabaah explained that their presence made other representatives from the Ghana Education Service, the Ghana Police Service, and the traditional councils not effective because some of them were reluctant to make fair judgement on issues.
Mr Ebenezer Aggrey-Fynn, Member of the EC responsible for the Region urged the media to be conversant with the electoral laws to be able to explain issues relating to elections and the electoral system.
He noted that an analytical report from the media should enhance the democratic dispensation.
Mrs Sylvia Annoh, Principal Public Relations Officer of the EC said the Government and DFID in May 2012 signed an agreement for the Enhancing the Credibility of Ghana’s 2012 Elections.
She said the project was aimed at promoting credible and peaceful elections to consolidate Ghana’s political stability and democratic credentials.
Other issues discussed during an open forum were challenges with the recruitment and training of presiding officers, problem of over-population of voters at polling stations and technological challenges concerning the efficiency of BVDs.