General News of Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Source: Daily Graphic

Multiple names on voters register - 20,000 expunged

The names of about 20,000 voters found to have engaged in multiple registration during the biometric voters registration have been expunged from the national voters register, which will be used for the December 7 general election.

The Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, speaking to in Accra Wednesday, said the names of the people had been cleared from the voters roll.

“It is estimated that close to 20,000 people were involved in that fraudulent act,” he said.

A Ghana News Agency (GNA) report on quoted the EC’s Deputy Chairman (Operations), Mr Kwadwo Safo Kantanka, as saying, “To avoid any ambiguity on election day, a special list has been compiled for those who engaged in multiple registration to serve as evidence of their fraudulent electoral act which is criminal.”

Meanwhile, the EC has fixed December 4 for special voting by those who will be on duty on election day, Friday, December 7.

Constitutional Instrument (CI) 75 (21) stipulates: “A voter may apply to the returning officer of the constituency in which the voter is registered to be entered as a special voter if, as a result of election duties, the voter will not be able to be present at the polling station where the voter is registered on the day of election.

“An application for special voting shall be made not later than 42 days before the polling day in the constituency of the applicant, except in the case of an applicant who is a returning officer.”

Those expected to cast the early vote include members of the Ghana Armed Forces, the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana Prisons Service, the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, the Ghana National Fire Service, EC officials and staff of essential services.

Special polling stations have been mapped out by the EC for the exercise and voting starts at 7 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m.

According to the GNA report, Mr Safo Kantanka was speaking at a public dialogue dubbed: “EC dialogue with parliamentary candidates” organised by the commission, in collaboration with the UK Department for International Development (DFID), for candidates in the Ablekuma, Ayawaso and Okaikoi sub-metros.

CI 75 mandates the returning officer to ensure that the ballot boxes are sealed with the seals of the EC, as well as candidates who wish to add their seals.

The boxes will be transported to safe places for storage and opened only after the main election on Friday, December 7.

The returning officer is also mandated to arrange for the ballot boxes to be opened at the time of the counting of votes cast on polling day and the ballot papers “shall be counted in the same manner as those contained in the ballot boxes used on the polling day”.

Seven political parties and an independent candidate are contesting the Presidency, while about 1,331 parliamentary candidates are contesting the 275 seats in Parliament.

The presidential candidates for the political parties and the order in which they will appear on the ballot paper are: President John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP); Dr Michael Abu Sakara Foster, the Convention People's Party (CPP), and Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP).

The rest are Mr Hassan Ayariga, the People’s National Convention (PNC); Mr Akwasi Addai (Odike), the United Front Party (UFP); Dr Henry Lartey, the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), and the independent candidate, Mr Jacob Osei Yeboah.

Since 1992, Ghana has had uninterrupted democratic practice, conducting five globally acclaimed successful elections.

According to the EC, the positions would be the same for parliamentary candidates, with independent candidates coming after candidates of the political parties in alphabetical order.

Constituency statistics obtained by the GNA indicate that 111 parliamentary candidates are contesting the 26 seats in the Western Region; 106 contesting the 23 seats in the Central Region; 204 the 34 seats in the Greater Accra Region; 125 the 26 seats in the Volta Region and 152 the 33 seats in the Eastern Region.

Two hundred and nine parliamentary candidates are contesting the 47 seats in Ashanti; 128 the 29 seats in Brong-Ahafo; 154 the 31 seats in Northern; 63 the 15 seats in Upper East and 59 the 11 seats in the Upper West Region.

The statistics indicate that only the NDC and the NPP are contesting in all the 275 constituencies, with the PPP contesting 211, the National Democratic Party, 155, the CPP, 145 and the PNC, 94.

Others are the Democratic People’s Party, 16; the United Freedom Party, seven; the Independent People’s Party, five; the GCPP, two; the United Renaissance Party, four;the New Vision Party, four; the Ghana Freedom Party, three, and the Yes People’s Party, one.

One hundred and twenty individuals are contesting as independent parliamentary candidates.

The statistics indicate that eight are contesting in the Western Region; six in Central; 21 in Greater Accra; 16 in Volta; 17 in Eastern; 18 in Ashanti; 10 in Brong Ahafo, 18 in Northern; two in Upper East and four in Upper West.