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General News of Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Source: GNA

EU commits €7m to fund Ghana’s 2012 election activities


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The European Union (EU) is supporting three organizations in the country with an amount of seven million Euros to train their staff and educate the public on the Biometric Voter Registration exercise.

The beneficiary organizations are the Electoral Commission (EC), National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) and the National Media Commission (NMC).

Mr Claude Martin, the EU Ambassador to Ghana revealed this during his working visit to the Upper West Region on Tuesday. Mr. Martin, who was accompanied by Mr. Judi Keal Regnaut, EU Political Affairs Officer and Mr. Francesco Torcoli, EU Programmes Officer met with some Regional and District officials of the EC in Wa.

The EU Ambassador praised Ghana for its democratic credentials recognised worldwide as the beacon of democracy in Africa.

He said it was for these reasons that the EU found it necessary to support these three constitutional bodies, especially with the introduction of the new Biometric Voter Registration system to enable them to come out with a credible biometric voter register.

According to the EU Ambassador, this would not only lead to free, fair and credible general elections on December 7, 2012 but would further enrich Ghana’s democratic gains across the world.

Hajia Saadatu Maida, a member of the Electoral Commission in charge of the Upper West Region expressed her gratitude to the EU for its long standing support for the EC. She said the EC would not leave any stone unturned in its quest to migrate successfully into the electronic voting system.

She added that with the support of the EU, training would be provided for their staff including all those who would be recruited to help carry out the exercise.

She noted that the number of polling stations had increased to 23,000 to make voting more accessible to the people.

Hajia Maida assured that the EC was going to take note of all the challenges that would crop up during the process and address them appropriately.

Mr. Yahaya Mahama, the Upper West Regional Director of the EC, assured the EU Ambassador that the region had gone far in preparations for the Biometric Voter Registration.

He said key trainers, registration supervisors and their deputies have all been interviewed and appointed for all the districts.

Mr. Mahama added that by the end of February recruitment of field operatives would also come to an end which would pave way for the training of all officials.

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