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Politics of Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Source: GNA

1141 polling stations in U/E earmarked for the Elections

A total 1,141 polling stations in the Upper East Region have been earmarked by the Electoral Commission (EC) for the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections scheduled to take place on December 7th.

Mr Bruce Ayisi, Upper East Regional Director, EC, disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency on Tuesday, in Bolgatanga, during an election forum organized by the Centre for Democratic Development Ghana (CDD-Ghana) on the theme, “Preventing Electoral Violence towards consolidating electoral democracy and integrity of the 2012 election”.

He indicated that out of the total number of the 1,141, 438 of them had been identified as flash points and everything was being done to work to restore peace in such areas before the elections.

“However practical workshops are already taking place with the roll out of massive voter education programmes to sensitize communities, organizations and the entire people in the Region to achieve peace in the Region before, during and after the impending elections”, the Regional Director emphasized.

He assured the stakeholders that the EC was more focused and duly following its plans and programmes to deliver the impending 2012 election whose outcome will be credible and acceptable to all stakeholders.

Mr Aiyisi however indicated that the EC would need the support and cooperation of all players and stakeholders and appealed to all of them, particularly the Political parties, to educate their members and supporters to stay away from violence in the forthcoming elections.

He said political matters were not the preserve of the EC and wondered why at the least instance it was being branded as going into bed with other political parties.

“This beclouds the basis of sound technical judgment thereby putting the EC in perceived political quandary. Fortunately the EC has demonstrated a high professional and ethnical competency to live above board under such circumstances.”

Dr Franklin Oduro, Head of Programmes and Research of CDD-Ghana said under normal circumstances, an election was supposed to be one of the easiest ways of choosing leaders and wondered why there was always anxiety, fear and panic when it comes to organizing elections in Ghana.

“This will be the sixth time Ghana is conducting elections and anytime there is an election it creates anxiety, fear and panic among the people, which shouldn’t be so. It is high time we changed this trend by collaborating effectively to deal with the problem”, he stressed.

He however regretted the numerous legal tussles between the EC and some Political parties in Courts and said that was likely to affect the election and impressed upon the EC and the political parties who are involved in the court cases and other issues to solve such problems to pave way for smooth elections.

The forum, which attracted political parties’ representatives, the Electoral Commission (EC), the Security Agencies, the Media, the traditional authorities, Religious leaders and the Physically challenged among others, was sponsored by the German Agency for International Development (GTZ).

Participants pledged to play their respective roles to ensure violent free elections.