Politics of Thursday, 14 August 2014

Source: The Finder

NPP MP berates Electoral Commission

The Member of Parliament for the Asuogyaman Constituency, who is aspiring to become flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kofi Osei-Ameyaw, is accusing the Electoral Commission (EC) of stopping NPP agents from taking records at the registration centres.

He suspects the move by the EC smacks of plans to rig the 2016 elections.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Osei-Ameyaw said he was saddened by what he witnessed during his visit to some of the registration centres in parts of Accra, the Volta Region, as well his own constituency, the Asuogyaman Constituency.

According to him, the EC has decided to prevent the NPP polling station agents from collating their data, describing the situation as unacceptable.

He explained that the data collected by NPP agents was to be used to cross-check data to be churned out by the EC at the end of the exercise in order to help prevent fraud.

The MP accused the EC of preparing the grounds for rigging the 2016 elections.

Osei-Ameyaw said the operational lapses would not be allowed to stand, and therefore called on all like-minded Ghanaians to prevail on the EC to allow the polling station agents of the NPP to collate the data at the registration centres.

He said the party was not ready in any way to lose the 2016 elections, and stressed the need for his party to be vigilant during this time of the revision of the voters’ register.

Osei-Ameyaw said the registration has the tendency to change the fortunes of Ghana, which he said was not in a good state of health under the ruling National Democratic Congress.

He charged the NPP to resist the EC from giving unfair advantage to the NDC once more.

He said the NDC was in government today because of the incompetence of the Electoral Commission, and re-echoed a statement made by Dr Kojo Afari-Gyan that elections are won at the polling station.

The MP reiterated that the registration prior to an election is of great significance in the electoral process, and any act of omission or commission on the part of the officers of the EC or agents of the political parties could jeopardise the chances of winning power by any political party.

He said it is against this backdrop that the NPP, including him, have decided to embark on the path of doing what is right to assist the EC to collect and collate a voters’ register which is credible and which can be relied upon in future elections.

Meanwhile, the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia, says officials of EC must be blamed for the violence which has characterised the ongoing limited voter registration exercise.

Mr Asiedu Nketia told Citi News that violence erupted at some centres because the lawful means for agents to address challenges are sometimes blocked by registration officials.

He indicated that the laws only permit individuals to challenge the eligibility of an applicant, but no one has the power to prevent another person from registering.

Mr Asiedu Nketia stated that party agents feel helpless when “you have registration officers with not-too-holy intentions, and they are registering people who ought not to be registered; you cannot force those people out and you cannot also get forms to challenge that registration.”

He added that such a situation forces the party agents to resort to violence, “which is also against the law.”

The NDC general secretary maintained that the violence at the registration centres is caused by officials of the EC.

“They compromise themselves by whatever means,” he said, adding that their failure to follow laid down rules set by the EC instigates violence.