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Committee Proposes Change To No Verification No Vote   
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The 10-member committee that was formed by the Electoral Commission (EC) to oversee the implementation of electoral reforms ahead of the 2016 general elections, has proposed a change to the ‘No Verification No Vote’ rule.

The committee is proposing the verification during the exhibition of the voter register to ascertain those who could not be verified so they could be allowed to vote during elections.

Mr. owusu Perry, Public relations officer, EC, disclosed this to when the reform Committee submitted its final proposal to the EC for consideration.

The 45-page proposal, which is couched in seven main chapters, covers the entire electoral cycle from preelection, election to post-election.

Mr. Perry, who is the secretary to the reform Committee, said members of the committee agreed to the ‘no verification no vote’ rule.

However, he said due to the likelihood that some of the verification equipment could break down, “the committee is proposing that at the exhibition of the voter register there must be verification.

“So at that early stage we are able to tell people who are likely not to be verified at the point of voting. And then the proposal is that they would be entered as face only on the register.

So it is not at the point of voting that we will come to realize that somebody cannot be verified,” he explained.

Dr. Afari-Gyan, the soon-to-retire EC Chairman who received the proposal, commended the members of the committee for working hard to complete their task within the stipulated three-month period.

EC On Proposals
he assured the committee that the proposals in the document would be seriously considered and appropriate action taken on them.

However, Dr. Afari-Gyan said some of the reforms could not be effected immediately, particularly those that require legal backing.

“It is to be noted that the proposals that require legal backing cannot be done by the EC; they have to be done by the appropriate authorities because it entails making law.

“But those that are administrative are the ones that will be looked at very carefully by members of the commission together with IPAC and other stakeholders and make appropriate decisions,” he said.

He underscored, “we will begin work immediately on the proposal. It is a long process but a lot could be done before the 2016 elections.”

Georgina opoku Amankwa, Chairperson of the committee, said it had a total of 12 working sessions and “we were able to come on consensus on the issues discussed.”

She added, “we were asked to separate the proposals into two main categories – those that will require amendments to the existing laws and those that will require changes to the procedures and arrangement the commission works with.”

Ms opoku Amankwa commended the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) for supporting and sponsoring the committee for three working sessions outside Accra.

The Committee Members                                                                                             The committee has Kwabena Agyepong, New Patriotic Party (NPP); Asiedu Nketia, National Democratic Congress (NDC); James Kwabena Bomfeh, Convention People’s Party (CPP) and Anim Kofi Addo, Yes People’s Party (YPP) as some of the members.

The rest are Christian owusu Parry (EC); mrs. Rebecca Kabuki, (EC); Kwesi Jonah, Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG); Dr. Ransford Gyampoh, Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) and Dr Franklin Oduro, Centre for Democratic Development (CDD).

It will be recalled that during the pronouncement of the verdict on 2012 presidential election petition filed by three prominent figures of the New Patriotic Party, the supreme Court called on the Electoral Commission to undertake electoral reforms.

The petitioners were led by the party’s presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo; his running mate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and the then National Chairman, Jake Obetsebi- Lamptey.

Since then, some individuals, organizations and the opposition political parties had been reiterating the need for the reforms before the 2016 general elections. of major concern to the parties is the bloated voter register which they say should be audited.
Source: Cephas Larbi/Daily Guide

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