Sunday, August 10, 2008

EC extends messy voter registration exercise

The Electoral Commission (EC) on Sunday extended by two days the limited registration of voters that has been characterised by confusion, shortage of forms, films, cameras and violence. The EC said the exercise that should have ended on Sunday has been by two days to cater for crowds that are still in long queues across the country.

The exercise, meant to capture those who have turned 18 years and others who do not have their names on the ballot, will now end at 1800 hours on Tuesday, August 12, according to a statement signed by Christian Owusu-Parry, Acting Director of Public Affairs.

The statement said the extension was "to enable regional directors of the Commission to arrange to cater for all eligible persons who are still in queues to be registered".

The EC asked regional directors to "mobilise all resources to enable them to cov er all such applicants in their respective regions within the two days, ending 6 pm (1800 hours) on Tuesday, 12th August 2008".

It said "special registration centres" would be established at the Head Office and regional offices of the Commission to cater for the physically challenged within the period.

The EC has been overwhelmed by huge crowds that have thronged the registration centres, well beyond the 800,000 to one million it had projected to capture.

David Adeenze-Kangah, EC Deputy Chairman in-Charge of Finance and Administration, described the huge turnout as an abnormal phenomenon.

"We have never experienced huge inflows of potential voters at the centres to register during limited registration exercise since the inception of the Fourth Republic. Not even during the main exercise has the intensity been almost constant throughout the period," he told the Ghana News Agency in an interview.

The two main political parties, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC), have been trading accusations about violence, registration of minors and confusion that have characterised the exercise.


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