Electoral Commission Stirs Up Enthusiasm In Polls

Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan, the Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), is urging voters to show keen interest and ensure strong participation in the upcoming local level elections. He said the consistent pattern of poor turn-out at the district polls must change as many of the people often did not attach any importance to these elections because they fail to see the relevance to the socio-economic progress of the nation. The result is that over the past 21 years just under 40 per cent of registered voters show up at the polling centres to cast their ballot, a development, Dr Afari-Gyan, said was not good enough. Addressing a consultative forum held to collate views on the planned review of constitutional instrument (C.I. 75) which guides the conduct of public elections, he said the voter apathy was more pronounced in the urban areas, where lower than 10 per cent vote in such elections. He said clearly this was unhelpful to the drive towards deepening local governance to efficiently respond to the real needs of the people. The forum brought together political parties, religious and civil-society organizations and it provided the platform for them to make inputs into the public elections regulation review. The goal is to help appropriately address the difficulties and problems that bedeviled the 2012 general election. The EC Chairman appealed to highly-qualified and competent people to put themselves up to be elected into the assemblies and the unit committees. He said that was necessary to enrich not only their deliberations but quality service delivery. Dr. Afari-Gyan appealed to political parties, political scientists and all stakeholders to come up with concrete suggestions on how to strengthen the conduct of public elections.