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General News of Saturday, 3 December 2016

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Special Voting irregularities were not fatal – EC

The Electoral Commission (EC) says despite the challenges faced by electorates during the Thursday’s Special Voting exercise, it is impressed with the process.

EC Communication Director, Eric Dzakpasu says that to the extent that the electoral process was orderly and peaceful the Commission should be given some credit.

Speaking on the Joy FM/MultiTV’s news analysis programme Newsfile Saturday, he said although “there were irregularities, they were not that fatal as some people alleged.”

The EC has come under criticism for the way the Special Voting turned out. A popular complaint was missing names of some security officers denying them the opportunity to vote.

The Special Voting exercise is normally organized for some professionals in the security, media and health services - who are expected to play roles in the December 7 elections.

Based on Thursday’s incidents, sections of Ghanaians are questioning the preparedness of the Commission to organize a free, fair and credible election next week Wednesday.

They believe the Commission has a lot of homework to do especially concerning the compilation of the electoral roll.

But the EC says it is prepared for the general elections because it has about 98 percent of the logistics it requires for the polls.

Mr Dzakpasu says the Special Voting exercise taught them some useful lessons which they would avoid in next week’s exercise.

“It is a blight on the EC largely, but it is a process and to the extent that the process has not been completed it cannot be a foregone conclusion.”
The EC is ready, he said, adding “getting it right will involve all the stakeholders playing their role.”

Director of Center for European Studies at the University of Ghana, Professor Ransford Gyampoh commended the Commission for its rapid response which saw an extension of the Special Voting exercise to Sunday, December 4.

He suggested for the EC to consider adding Special Voting Register exhibition to its calendar to avoid such infractions and omissions in the future.

"We are looking for a much display of dexterity and professionalism from the EC [because] it has been there for over 20 years," he said.

Watch the full video below: