Politics of Friday, 23 November 2012

Source: Joy Online

Political parties unhappy at EC’s failure to release voters’ register

Political parties are angry with the Electoral Commission for failing for the second time, to give them copies of all the voters register as promised.

Last week, Chairman of the Commission, Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan announced at an IPAC meeting that, hard copies of the registers would ready for distribution on Monday.

But the parties were disappointed and EC officials assured them that soft copies of the registers were going to be made available to them on Wednesday.

The Commission has again postponed it to next Monday.

The political parties have so far received hard copies for only four regions; Northern, Upper East, Upper West and Volta regions, with barely two weeks to the elections.

The parties say they have limited time to scrutinize the registers and this will seriously affect their operations on the ground.

NPP National Chairman, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey on Friday told Joy News he will lodge an official complaint with the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO)at the next IPAC meeting.

Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey said similar developments came up during the district level elections which affected the polls and his party was this time, bent on ensuring that the right things were done to avoid their recurrence.

Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, George Lawson said there were mistakes in some of the hard copies they received earlier and his party had returned those registers.

Mr. Lawson hinted of plans by his party to use every available means to demand the release of the registers on time, to enable them properly plan for the elections as far as determining the number of voters in each region was concerned.

Meanwhile the EC explained the delay was to ensure data on the registers were adequately protected to avoid any alteration.

Principal Public Relations Officer at the EC Sylvia Annor downplayed the possible negative impact the delay might have on the elections. She said unlike the previous register, the current one provides avenue for verification which reduces instances of multiple voting