12 m voters ready to cast ballots as registration ends
5/7/2012 6:00:35 PM -
The 40-day biometric registration exercise officially ended at the week-end with a projection of 12 million people registered to cast their votes on Friday, December 7.
At the time of going go press, the Electoral Commission had not released the breakdown of figures for the regions and constituencies but indications were that ,registration officers might be dispatched in the near future to areas where the exercise faced major challenges.
The Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan told newsmen that his outfit would not rely on politicians calling for extension of the process. Rather, the leaders of the commission would depend on reports from their own officers on the field to make an informed decision on whether or not to extend the exercise.
The exercise was marred by violence at the beginning but by the time registration was pulling to an end, violence has considerably abated. There was the problem of shortage of materials and equipment breakdown but the commission reckons that on the whole it was a fairly successful exercise.
Both the ruling National Democratic Congress and the opposition New Patriotic Party complained of equipment malfunctioning and shortage of equipment slowing down the process in their strongholds and requested an extension to the programme. But the requests appear to have been waved aside by the Chairman of the commission who has advertised the electoral office's intention to follow the prompts of only of field officers answerable to the E.C.
With the completion of the registration exercise, the electoral season has kicked started for all the political parties contesting for power. The two front-runners, the NDC and NPP, have already named their Presidential Candidates as well as their running mates indicating that their electoral machines have been well oiled for what is expected to be a long season of campaigning for the minds of the electorates.
The registration exercise began in all the 230 existing constituencies on Saturday, March 24.