The Electoral Commission has commenced a review meeting of the 2012 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections with the aim of assessing the conduct of the 2012 polls.
Supported by Department for International Development (DFID) and facilitated by KAB Governance Consult, the first in the series of the review started in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital.
Participants at the review meeting included regional party executives, electoral officers, polling station agents and management of the Electoral Commission.
Dubbed “Enhancing the Credibility of the 2012 Election” it was organised not only to obtain feedback of the 2012 general election from participants, but also create a platform for the EC to evaluate the credibility of the country’s election.
The Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan, reminded participants that an election could be free and fair if political parties played their active roles.
“What is worrying is the fact that the parties bring us people to train and then they will not use those people on election day” he lamented.
Answering a question on when the Commission will introduce the electronic voting system in the country, Dr Gyan explained that the country was still in the process of learning so far as the verification of the electoral process was concerned, and therefore needed to be conversant with it before introducing any advance technology into the electoral process.
He said that the country needed to resolve all outstanding issues surrounding the verification of prospective voters before introducing electronic voting (e-voting) in future.
He said that the commission was never against the introduction of e -voting, adding that its introduction was going to help simplify issues.
He however cautioned “Unless we prepare, understand and strategise very well we cannot introduce e-voting because its introduction will put us into deeper controversies”
Dr Gyan who also doubles as the commission member in charge of the Ashanti and the Volta regions said public perception that the verification machine could be manipulated to determine the winner of an election even before the process ended was totally wrong.
The Ashanti Regional Chairman of the EC, Mr Samuel Tettey, commended the electorate in the Ashanti Region for exhibiting a high sense of discipline before, during and after the election, saying, the region was generally peaceful during the elections.
Mr Tettey recommended that people who engaged in election malpractice should be given stiffer punishment to serve as a deterrent to others.
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