The Ashanti Regional branch of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) is urgently asking the Electoral Commission to suspend the voter register exhibition exercise in the Ashanti Region and reschedule the exercise.
This according to them will enable the system to be rationalised so that all the irregularities can be rectified.
According to them a significant number of eligible voters’ names have been removed without any clear explanation or credible reason.
They are also requesting an explanation for choosing 24th to 30th October, 2014 for the exercise knowing very well that most of them are in school.
Below is the full statement;
The office of the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has critically observed, monitored and evaluated the ongoing exhibition exercise being conducted by the Electoral Commission of Ghana in accordance with the Constitutional Instrument (C.I. 72) regulations 21(1) and 22(1).
It enjoins the commission to compile a Provisional Voters Register for each polling centre showing the particulars and photograph of each person whose application was accepted, display it for public inspection. The outfit of the chairman has realised a few but very important anomalies that have to be given an urgent attention.
These concerns among others are;
Opening the Exhibition Centre
The opening of the exhibition centres nationwide from the 24th October to the 30th October, 2014 avert first time voters in the Senior High Schools from exercising their constitutional right.
Exception/Exclusion List and Multiple Registration Lists
There is a significant number of eligible voters whose names have been removed without any clear explanation or credible reason. It is the responsibility of the EC to ensure that those who registered did so within the stipulated time set by the commission. It cannot accordingly be justified by anybody or institution to disallow any eligible voter to exercise his/her constitutional right through no fault of the person.
Some of the names have been removed on the claims that they had done multiple registration without displaying the information that actually underpins the allegation. It was expected that the information on those accused would be presented publicly to demonstrate the double registration which was not done.
At present we have recorded such instances at some of our polling centres where the exercise is being conducted.
For instance, Noble Prince Polling Station at Manhyia North in the Ashanti Region (F150916) only nine (9) out of the ninety three (93) who registered recently found their names in the register. Atonsu Electoral Area about eight hundred and sixty one of them could not trace their names in the exhibited register.
There are other places of similar occurrence.
At Apraman M/A Primary School Polling Stations A/B and JHS about forty (40) names have been exhibited in the multiple voting booklet. One Cecilia Asante age twenty (20) with ID number 6141009735 had other information in the EC's system as; Name: SJSJDJDJJHH and the same ID number. Clearly, it is realised it is the fault of the EC system. We have many of such instances.
The EC according its own manual stipulates that there is a policy concession or law that one can object to removal of names and other similar decisions by the EC. A yellow form has been therefore provided for that purpose.
However, most of all those are around the age of eighteen and in school now. We believe strongly that the entire system lacks credibility and the alleged multiple registration could result from the EC's own outfit.
In all it is believed that about fifty thousand people are being extracted from the register. If these concerns are not attended to it will mean the affected persons will not have the constitutional right to vote which will NOT BE ACCEPTABLE.
OBJECTION AND REQUEST
We strongly object to the removal of these names from the registers by the EC and profoundly request that those omitted names be included to restore their constitutional right as citizens of Ghana.
We also request explanation for choosing 24th to 30th October, 2014 for the exercise knowing very that most of them are in school. Is there any exceptional arrangement for them to check the inclusion of their names or otherwise.
We would like to humbly but firmly make use of this opportunity to find out whether the controversy over the 2012 voters register has been thoroughly resolved as any attempt to integrate the recent data will aggravate the controversy.
As a result of the prevailing challenges that have remarkably negative impact on the entire results, we are urging the EC to urgently suspend the on exhibition exercise in the Ashanti Region and reschedule the exercise. This will enable the system to be rationalised so that all these irregularities can be rectified.
We are humbly urging all those stakeholder institutions and individuals that will be copied to contribute their quota in managing this salient issue of social and national interest.
We finally but firmly ask the EC to expedite urgent action on our request in the spirit of cooperation and national peace.
Thanks in anticipation.
Mr. Stephen Amoah
(OFFICE OF THE ASHANTI REGIONAL CHAIRMAN OF THE NPP)
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