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12.04.2008 General News

EC Sets Up A 9-Member Investigative Committee

By GNA

The Electoral Commission (EC) has set-up a nine member Independent Investigative Committee to analytically scrutinise the voters register in order to establish the legitimacy or otherwise of the alleged bloated register in the Ashanti Region.

'It is a Committee of the Commission, therefore, in accordance with the 1992 Constitution, it would be chaired by an EC official,' Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, EC Chairman told the Ghana News Agency yesterday in an interview after a special Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting in Accra.

The Committee is made up of two EC Officials, two Information Technology Experts, four representatives of the political parties and a democratic stakeholder and has two-weeks from the day of inauguration to complete its mandate.

The Committee's mandate is to scrutinize the source of the discrepancies and how to prevent its occurrences and make the appropriate recommendations to the Commission.

Dr Afari-Gyan called for co-operation from all the stakeholders and the general public to ensure that the Committee work in absolute peaceful environment to ensure that the truth is established within the stipulated period.

He also appealed to the political parties to be circumspect and resist
the temptation of establishing what he termed a 'Media Committee,' outside the operations of the Committee.

The EC Chairman assured all interested parties, the international community and democratic stakeholders of its absolute desire to end the controversy to ensure that Elections 2008 is organised on a clean slate from the perspective of the Commission.

On the outcome of the Internal Committee set-up by the Commission to investigate the allegation, the EC Chairman explained that, the internal committee had a different mandate to deal with administrative issues.

It was to assess the Commission's internal administrative operations, mode of information flow, how to deal with the general public, how to ensure accuracy of information flow and who gives out information - verbal or documentary.

The IPAC meeting was attended by EC Commissioners and officials from, the British High Commission, Canadian High Commission, Japanese Embassy, Dutch Embassy, Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) and United State of America.

The political parties were: National Democratic Congress (NDC), New Patriotic Party (NPP), Peoples National Convention (PNC), Convention Peoples Party (CPP), Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), National Reform Party (NRP), Democratic Freedom Party (DFP), and EGLE Party and Reformed Patriotic Democrats (RPD).

The NDC Party last March, expressed concern about the bloating of the voter's register in 13 constituencies in the Ashanti Region.

The party claimed that they got information on the bloated figure from the EC on a CD Rom after writing officially to the Commission and agreed to an investigation to ascertain the truth or otherwise.

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