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General News of Monday, 22 August 2016

Source: Atinka Online

NPP alarmed over ‘secret’ registration of prisoners


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The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has expressed concern over the decision of the Electoral Commission to register prisoners without informing the various political parties.

“We have observed that the Commission is commencing voter registration in prisons across the country per letters emanating from some District offices. However, there has been no notification to political parties to inform them and have the opportunity to monitor this process as has been the practice,” the party said in a letter addressed to the EC chairperson, Charlotte Osei.

Below are details of the letter

THE ELECTORAL COMMISSIONER
GHANA.

Dear Madam,

CONCERNS OVER ONGOING PROCESSES LEADING TO THE 2016 GENERAL ELECTIONS

We wish to bring to the attention of the Commission some concerns for urgent redress as we prepare towards the 2016 General Election.

1. We have observed that the Commission is commencing voter registration in prisons across the country per letters emanating from some District offices. However, there has been no notification to political parties to inform them and have the opportunity to monitor this process as has been the practice.

2. We request to know what modalities are in place towards foreign registrations for this year's election as well as particulars of the existing foreign registrations done earlier by the Commission.

3. We note a release from the Commission on challenges encountered with the ongoing Continous Voter Registration on the 19h August exercise and the decision to extend the registration hours to 8pm on that day and an additional day extention to the 27th of August 2016.

We would have wished that much as the C.I 91 grants this activity of the Commission in consultation with political parties, the parties would have been duly notified/consulted before any such decisions are taken.

4. The procedures announced for proxy vote has to be reviewed. The Commission directs that a prospective proxy can go to the Commission and pick up forms for the applicant. This should not be the case because of the inherent abuse.

I refer to Regulation 25 (2) of C.I 94 which states that "The applicant shall complete a proxy form set out in Form Six of the Schedule". What this means is that nobody can make or complete proxy forms on behalf of an applicant.

The Commission has also decided to do this exercise at all district offices and adds the headquarters of the Commission. One wonders why the EC headquarters must be part of this as it's not even a registration center. We want the Commission to engage with the Parties on this exercise to ensure effective monitoring.

An early response to the concerns is anticipated. As a stakeholder, we would wish to receive formal correspondence from the commission on activities that we are required to play a part instead of through the media , so as to help in getting our members and the general public to participate fully .

As we approach the election, it is expected that the Commission would be more transparent and ensure inclusiveness of stakeholders in its activities.

Sincerely,

John Boadu
General Secretary (Ag.)

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