General News of Thursday, 15 November 2012

Source: kingdom kay

Editorial - Media ruled out of early voting?

EC must come again!

It is a bizarre state of affair for the Nations electoral governing body to snub the significant role played by the media to ensure a peaceful and a transparent electoral process across the country by blatantly ruling out its participation in the early voting process.

Considering the anxiety and pockets of violence which characterized the Biometric voter registration exercise in parts of the country months ago, the Electoral commission must be self informed of possible but sizeable tension and aggression on December 7.

It is unfair for the EC to declare that. “The only way out for journalists is to wake up early to cast their votes on December 7th to avoid the long queues, knowing that they (journalists) have to cover the elections.” The Republic wishes to ask the EC if it is aware of the fact that, most electorates will prefer to pass the night at various polling stations a day before the election day considering various factors with priority given to distance or proximity of votes. This will by far hinder the quest of media practitioners to vote on time even if they are compelled to wake up early. The Republic strongly believes that, this methodology by the EC is a great sabotage to the smooth operations of journalists and the right to exercise their franchise. The right to vote by technicians, Camera men, crew drivers, Radio and TV presenters, reporters and various correspondents who will be on duty on the day stands paramount among all official duties just like an EC official and a security personnel.

The EC must also be conscious of the fact that, all of its operations without the timely presence of the media are fit to be described as useless. Should the coverage of the election happen simultaneously with the exercise of franchise by journalists, most media practitioners will be left with the difficulty of putting their duties on hold for their right or to ignore their right for their duties considering the possible stress it may come along with. The EC must learn to respect the power of the media and its immense contribution to ensure peace and harmony among the citizenry through the dissemination of information.

EC must know that, without the media, the President speaks in vain and so will security watch in vain. END …………….

Mrs. Sylvia Annor, Public Relations Officer of the Electoral Commission has indicated that there will be no early voting for the media for election 2012.

Most often the media takes part in an early voting before December 7th to enable them discharge their duties perfectly during the electioneering processes as well as coalition of figures.

However, speaking in an interview on Peace FM, Madam Sylvia Annor said the tables have turned.

“There are several changes in the electioneering processes. The new law being used, CI 72 indicates that anybody who wants to take part in the early voting, you must work with the electoral commission or security personnel who will be busy on the Election Day. Even that you have to write an application to the EC 42 days before elections…” she asserted.

According to Madam Sylvia Annor, the only way out for journalists is to wake up early to cast their votes on December 7th to avoid the long queues, knowing that they (journalists) have to cover the elections.

“We have no choice than to abide by what the law says and so what can be done is for the media to strategize and plan in such a way that they can wake up early and vote on December 7th to avoid any long queues. Once you know you will be covering the election and you are not part of the early voters then it’s a matter of strategizing…” she added.