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Politics of Friday, 31 October 2014

Source: citifmonline.com

CPP, EC clash over extension of exhibition exercise

The Electoral Commission (EC) has insisted it will not extend the date for the exhibition of the voters register despite calls by political parties for an extension.

The Convention People’s Party, (CPP) said the exercise was not patronized by most Ghanaian because of low publicity, hence the need for an extension to enable more people to participate.

The exercise which begun on Friday, October 24 ended on Thursday October 30, 2014.

Deputy Communications Director of the CPP, Ernesto Yeboah, told Citi News the exercise has not been patronised because the EC did not involve the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE).

“We expect them to have spoken to other media organizations…a way of getting their adverts played there. We are also looking at organizations like the NCCE getting much more involved in things such as this because that is why they exist.”

He said, “we want to see other bodies like the information services department play a major role in this but they were all absent…they should have involved all these organizations to ensure that the exercise is successful.”

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has also blamed the EC for the low patronage while calling on the EC to quickly convene an Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting to discuss the matter.

However, the acting Director of Public Affairs at the EC, Christian Owusu Parry in an interview with Citi News insisted that “the EC is not considering extending this particular exercise.”

He explained that “what will motivate the commission to extend an exercise is while the exercise is ongoing, long queues of people wanting to go through the process but they are unable to check their particulars because of the long queues; then there is justification for an extension.”

“But in a situation such as we have where people troop in one after the other, I do not think that an extension would be necessary,” the acting director added.

Meanwhile, Citi News’ Kojo Agyeman who visited some polling stations on Thursday reported that very few registered voters had visited the exhibition centers.

“I visited some polling centers to assess the turnout of the exhibition. My first stop was the Adabraka Presby Polling Centre where out of 1,389 voters only 200 had come to check their names in the register as of 11am on Thursday.

The Ernest Bruce Methodist Church Polling Centre also revealed equally low turnout. The EC official indicated similar sentiments as in other polling centers,” he said.