General News of Friday, 16 November 2012

Source: GNA

Law did not allow Journalists to vote in Special Voting – Afar-Gyan

Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC) on Thursday explained that journalists throughout the country would not take part in Election 2012 Special Voting.

He announced this in Accra on Thursday to media men during a media dialogue organized by the Editors’ Forum of Ghana (EFG) and sponsored by the EC on the topic: “On Election 2012: the EC’s preparations and related matters”.

The Electoral Commissioner emphatically stated that as the law stands now, it is only security men and EC officials who will be going out of their constituencies to supervise the elections that are permitted to partake in the early voting.

He explained that the biometric system posed a challenge since each journalist had registered at a different polling centre and this means creating a new polling centre for them.

He, however, urged all journalists, both local and international who wished to monitor this year’s elections to apply to the EC for accreditation through the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA).

He advised media houses to forward their lists of journalists to the GJA to avoid any unforeseen circumstances.

Dr Afari-Gyan said the EC was still discussing whether to give media men a special voting right on Election Day.

The EC Chair went through the election processes and said in the case of the parliamentary election, EC District Officer was the Returning Officer whose declaration on the results was final.

He noted that in the case of the Presidential Election, the EC Chairman is the Returning Officer, “mandated by law to certify all results for authentication”.

Dr Afari-Gyan cautioned the media to be very circumspect in their reportage to ensure smooth elections.