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Obviating A Messy Affair   
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It is the most important as well as confused political issue today and its ability to make or undo the peace in the country appears to have been taken for granted by key players, especially the Electoral Commission (EC).

Yesterday, we discussed the issue of the biometric registration against the backdrop of the seemingly intransigent, even insulting, conduct of the Electoral Commission (EC) towards the representatives of the major political parties and for that matter the people of Ghana.

It is indeed a very serious issue when representatives of political parties are ignored by EC officials when the former converge on the offices of the latter to discuss the novelty electoral process.

And with nothing emanating from the EC about arrangements made so far and how these are going to be addressed, confusion remains the hallmark of the biometric registration. This will hold until the thorny issues are unraveled and a more urbane communication between the election managers and the parties is established.

It was relieving to learn yesterday that a court had dismissed the case brought against the EC regarding the acquisition of materials for the biometric registration.

The ruling has somewhat paved the way for the EC to work on the biometric registration even as the issue wobbles, at least in the eyes of Ghanaians, especially the political parties.

The political parties should be the last to be confused as to whether the project would take off or not. For them to even ask that it be aborted at this eleventh hour as the EC parries away the doubts is a pointer to a major challenge besetting the project, requiring immediate attention.

It is a national conversation with a difference since it has the potential of compelling the EC to see reason for a change of mind from its current state of lethargy in its relations with a very critical public.

Election mismanagement has inflamed many African countries and for us not to learn from these sordid experiences cannot be acceptable.

We do not know if the EC’s intransigence stemmed from its lack of knowledge of the outcome of the court case that has been resolved by the ruling. We therefore expect the management of the body to schedule a meeting with the political parties and deal with the many questions that these representatives would pose.

With the fresh announcement that all is now clear for the biometric registration to commence, we seem to be simplifying what, without doubt, is a political conundrum.

A number of demands have been put forth which need to be addressed before the 2012 polls can be considered credible and to obviate the bickering which taints elections and eventually lead to civil strife.

The most important objective of elections is to ensure that the choice of the people as to who leads them is done in a manner devoid of ambiguity and confusion.

For us to pump so much money into a project which would eventually be discredited through lack of transparency would be a waste of time and resources, too expensive to countenance.

The only way that we can ensure this, is for the EC to be as transparent as possible in its dealings with the political parties.

The necessary amends must be made now so that the right things such as the verification of voters who are registered biometrically is ensured.

The many questions being posed constitute potential flash points, the snubbing of which can lead us to untoward developments.

The independence of the EC does not isolate it from the society for which it exists and in whose interest it works.

We insist once more that an IPAC meeting be held now lest the EC loses its credibility and the country thrown into an avoidable mess.

We have written, and as we fold our arms waiting for action, we call on all Ghanaians to consider this issue as a major threat to our democracy if we turn our attention away from it.

Source: Editorial (D-Guide)

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