Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Alleged bloated register is not authentic - Afari-Djan

Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Djan, Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), on Tuesday said the document purported to contain massive increases of eligible voters in Ashanti Region between 2004 and 2006 was not authentic.

"The fact of the matter is that those huge figures being circulated are not authentic and I have given the correct figure to all representatives of the parties," Dr. Afari-Djan told the media after an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting held in Accra. The meeting convened to discuss the upcoming voter ID card replacement and the replacement of lost voter ID cards and reopening of the voters' register was attended by representatives of all political parties with no journalists in attendance.

Explaining issues discussed at the meeting, Dr Afari-Djan said participants were briefed about EC's programmes for the year and participants sought clarifications.

He said participants expressed concern over the alleged bloated register but the EC produced and gave them the authentic figure of six per cent increase in the Ashanti Region instead of the alleged 113 per cent within the specified years.

The Chairman said he did not know how the wrong document got into the hands of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and who issued that document to them even though he was aware that the NDC had earlier requested for the register.

Asked if the wrong document being circulated had not dented the image of the EC, Dr Afari-Djan responded that the Commission had not done anything wrong.

"The figures we have given them are authentic and any right thinking person would accept that. We, however, will investigate the issue as agreed at the IPAC meeting and find out what went wrong, who gave out CD Rom and punish anyone found culpable."

Mr Peter Mac-Manu, Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, described that document as falsehood which people were peddling about the EC to demoralize and tarnish its image, "so that when the EC announces any election results which are not in their favour, they will (rubbish) it".

He therefore urged the EC to clear its image by making every effort to unravel how that conflicting figure got into the public domain. Mr Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, General Secretary of the NDC said his party got information on the bloated figure from the EC on a CD Rom after writing officially to the Commission.

"But now that EC is saying the content on the CD Rom was not its document, we all agree that an investigation be conducted to ascertain the truth or otherwise," Mr Nketia said.


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