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Regional News of Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Source: Michael Oberteye, Contributor

Voters’ register: Assembly members raise concerns over ‘smuggling’ of registrants

File photo of electoral album File photo of electoral album

Tension is brewing in two communities in Akuse in the Eastern Region over the siting of some voters registration centers in Narkope and Kwadjokope said to be ‘smuggling’ voters from the Lower Manya Krobo constituency into neighbouring Shai Osudoku.

The development which has arisen due to placing of the said centers outside the administrative boundaries of Natriku in the Shai Osudoku District in the said communities in the Lower Manya Krobo constituency has left assembly members for the area and some residents worried.

The concerned Assembly Members are thus calling on the electoral commission to explain the absence of assigned registration centers to the area, a situation that has compelled residents to register at centers assigned for the Natriku community in the Shai Osudoku District.

A visit to the affected communities revealed that the registration centers assigned to Natriku in the Shai Osudoku constituency were positioned at Narkope and Kwadjokope in Lower Manya Krobo and registering residents from the three communities.

The development has raised concerns as the registrants would be voting in an ‘alien’ constituency and assembly man for the affected area, the Bungalow Electoral Area, Richard Azianke is unhappy about the development.

The Assembly Member for the area who together with the Zonal Council Chairman for Akuse and Assembly Member for Osorkutu Electoral Area, Promise Asare, led reporters to the registration centers in question said the situation was unacceptable.

The two assembly members expressed regret over the placing of the said registration centers outside their respective administrative boundaries of Natriku and want the electoral commission to address the anomaly as soon as possible.

The first phase of the registration process in the area took place between the 12 and 18th of July at the registration center placed at the King of Glory Preparatory School in Narkope.

The next phase of the exercise which began on the 26th of July, 2020 also has the registration center placed at Father Israel in Kwadjokope.

Describing the effects of the situation on development in the area, Mr. Aziankey said the situation which would see some 500 residents of his electoral area captured on the Shai Osudoku register would not only see the reduction in the voter population in the area with its attendant reduction in developmental opportunities but also impact negatively on his electoral fortunes as the electorate in the affected communities will no longer be voting in the area as well as possible change in administrative boundaries.

Though the assembly members say they were yet to formally notify the electoral commission of their concerns, Mr. Richard Azianke said they had informed the Municipal Chief Executive for Lower Manya Krobo, Simon Kweku Tetteh, the Member of Parliament for the area, Ebenezer Okletey Terlabi and the Deputy Eastern Regional Minister and NPP Parliamentary Candidate for the area, Samuel Nuettey Ayertey but nothing had been done so far to rectify the situation.

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