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General News of Thursday, 23 May 2019


Name and shame violent political parties – EC Boss

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The Electoral Commission does not intend to rollout electronic voting at national elections in the immediate future.

“It is not feasible”, according to the chairperson of the Commission, Mrs. Jean Mensa, who explains that rolling out a successful exercise such as electronic voting largely hinges on the ability of everybody to vote electronically and independently.

“That’s a difficult one”, she told Graphic Online during an interview.

She was responding to whether the Commission intended to roll out electronic voting any time soon as a step to eliminate the incidence of party vigilantes who claim to seek the protection of ballot boxes at all cost, sometimes resulting in electoral violence.

It has been argued generally that the elimination of ballot papers and boxes from polling centres will invalidate the need for political party vigilantes to mass up at voting centres.

But according to Mrs. Jean Mensa, until when the condition becomes feasible, Ghanaians need to name and shame political parties that perpetrate violence.

“For the time being it’s not something that is feasible but I believe that with a lot of education we should be able to educate our citizens to condemn violence in no uncertain terms and it’s up to us, all of us as individuals and members of society to condemn parties that are violent.”

She recalled how helpful in the lead up to the 2016 elections, systematic recordings of infractions by political parties and actors resulted in name-and-shame publications in the media.

“If you are looking just to improve the lives of people, and that’s your mandate, you want to govern to improve the lives of people and promote development, why do you want to kill us? I mean if you love us so much and you are looking for power, you shouldn’t resort to violence. So I think we should educate our people and we should name and shame but I think for now, we are not considering voting electronically.”

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