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General News of Friday, 2 December 2016

Source: citifmonline.com

NDC, NPP blame EC for challenges during special voting exercise

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) is unhappy with the Electoral Commission’s handling of the special voting exercise Thursday.

Speaking on Eyewitness News, the NPP’s Campaign Manager, Peter Mac Manu said, “all I can say for now is that we are not satisfied with what happened at the special voting exercise.”

Mr. Mac Manu was speaking before an emergency Inter-Party Advisory Committee.

The meeting was necessitated because hundreds of special voters who queued at polling stations across the country today [Thursday] could not cast their ballots during the special voting exercise.

Although the exercise; which commenced in the 275 constituencies had been largely peaceful, there were complaints of missing names. Some other people who were also supposed to vote outside their original constituencies were turned away by Returning Officers.

Mr. Mac Manu indicated the NPP was collating views of all our agents across the country offices but singled out the fact the special voting register was changed at the last minute as one of the reasons for the grievances.

“You gave a register, changed it and then yesterday, you also changed it; a last minute change. It is not a good sign that for special voting we continued to change the register which is against the CI 94,” he lamented.

Challenges the creation of the EC, security agencies

The National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) Campaign Coordinator, Kofi Adams, also blamed the EC for the hitches.

He said the exercise had been “bedevilled with too many challenges, challenges that I believe have been the creation of the Commission to a large extent and also the leadership of the security agencies.”

“When the Electoral Commission took a decision that this time around they were going to allow people who will exercise their franchise as part of the special voting to also vote for parliamentary, it became an issue for a lot of the constituencies,” he said.

In Mr. Adams’ view, persons who are not registered as voters or persons who did not transfer would be determining who becomes an MP in a particular constituency given the initial arrangement.

“But the Electoral Commission was forced to now prepare a new list that directed everybody to his or her original constituency where he or she registered or transferred his vote to.”

kofi adams at EC forum

However, that information did not get to the affected persons until the morning when some of them walked to the special voting centres only for them to not find their names.

“We think that it is not in order. We cannot disenfranchise persons through these means and it is heartwarming the electoral commission has assured that it is going to put measures in place to get all these persons who for one reason or the other could not vote,” Mr. Adams said.

The EC has since said it is working with various security agencies to resolve the challenges with the special voters’ list.

The EC in a statement signed by the Director of Communications of the EC, Eric Dzakpasu, however said the Commission is“fully aware of the challenges some of them[voters] are facing at the various polling stations with the special voters list.”