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Politics of Wednesday, 17 March 2004

Source: GNA

Registration Officers demand 700,000 cedis

Accra, March 17, GNA - Registration Officials in Accra on Wednesday rejected the Electoral Commission's (EC) offer of 200,000 cedis and 120,000 cedis, for Registration Officers (RO) and their Assistants, respectively, and instead proposed 700,000 cedis and 420,000 cedis. Mr Hope Logoh, RO of the Klowe Koe Electoral Area in the Teshie Nungua Estate, who spoke to the Ghana News Agency, said a number of Electoral Officers met and resolved that: "The EC's offer is unrealistic and economically unreasonable to pay less than 1,300 cedis for an hour of brain work."
They, therefore, appealed to the EC, Government and Ghana's developing partners, especially Britain, Canada and Australia to come to their aid to support the registration exercise.
Mr Logoh noted that the registration exercise is quite cumbersome and time consuming and demanded the total concentration of the officials to reduce mistakes for accurate data to be compiled at the end of the period.
The Registration Officer said: "We are at the receiving end of some of the operational inefficiencies. We are at times abused and attacked by some members of the communities we serve.
"For these sacrifices we must be adequately compensated and not to be slapped in the face with peanuts," he said, adding, "morale for the exercise is waning and this may cause considerable damage to the exercise and the democratic process if immediate action is not taken to ensure that we are adequately compensated".
Meanwhile the National Chairman and Leader of the Convention People's Party (CPP), Dr Edmund N. Delle has appealed to the EC to immediately settle the impasse to ensure that the exercises is not impeded.
He said the problem between the EC and the Registration Officials have the potential of derailing the whole process and disrupt the Election 2004 calendar, "we must act together immediately to save the democratic process".
Dr Delle expressed surprise that the EC failed to be guided by experiences to avoid the mistakes of the past.
He said late reporting to duty posts by registration officials, insufficient registration materials, exhibition of lack of knowledge by the officials and confusion between registration officials and party agents were lapses in the past that had resurfaced.
He said the registration exercise was a test of the integrity of the electoral process and called on all stakeholders to be vigilant to ensure that the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections was guaranteed from the start.
He appealed to the EC to soberly reflect on its activities, listen to the Registration Officers and immediately resolve the problem. Registrations at the various centres were, however, going on smoothly when the Ghana News Agency visited Teshie and Nungua areas of the Ledzokuku Constituency.