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Politics of Saturday, 30 October 2010

Source: GNA

EC appeals for support for contestants in local elections

Wa, Oct. 30, GNA - The Electoral Commission (EC) has appealed to non partisan organisations and individuals interested in promoting the 2010 District Level Elections (DLE) to support the Commission to organise platforms for contestants to sell their campaign messages. It, however, said it would not accept any support from political parties or organisations that have or are perceived to have political leanings.

Mr. Ebenezer Aggrey-Fynn, a member of the Electoral Commission (EC) in charge of the Upper West Region, made the appeal at a media dialogue, on Friday, at Wa, in the Upper West Region. The forum was organised by the EC in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) and KAB Governance Consult.

It was on the theme: "Improving Citizenship Participation in the 2010 District Level Elections through Enhanced Knowledge." Mr. Aggrey-Fynn said a bill had been sent to Parliament to effect some legal changes to bring about sanity and efficiency in the electoral process at the local level.

He, therefore, appealed to the media to help educate the public on some of these legal reforms to enhance public understanding and patronage. He said some of the reforms to be considered include; an increase from 5,000 Electoral Areas to 6,000, adding that, the 15,000 Unit Committees with an initial membership of 225,000 would also be slashed to 30,000 members.

He explained that one electoral area would, therefore, have one Unit Committee with only five members, all elected. Mr. Aggrey-Fynn noted that candidates contesting the DLE, unlike the previous elections, would now have the opportunity to mount their own platforms with the support of the EC. Explaining the benefits to be derived from the changes, Mr. Aggrey-Fynn said with the reduction in the membership of the Unit Committee, the number could be efficiently managed. He added that the cost of organizing elections would also be reduced.

This, he said, would help to ensure that those elected are competent.

He appealed to the government to take advantage of the reduction in the membership of the Unit Committees and give them incentives to make it more attractive for them to give of their best. Members of the media also appealed to the EC Officials to be forthcoming with the relevant information to keep them updated and well informed to help educate members of the public.