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02.07.2008 NDC News

Make Voters Register Available — NDC

By Daily Graphic
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The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has asked the Electoral Commission to make available the final electoral register that would be used for the December elections to all the contesting political parties, especially those currently in opposition, at least two months to the elections.

This, according to the NDC, would make it possible for the parties to detect anomalies in the register for the corrections to be made to ensure a credible elections.

The NDC made the request at a press conference in Koforidua on Sunday.

That was after a three-day meeting of five regional chairmen of the party, namely Dr John Abu, Western, Messrs Julius Debrah, Eastern, Modestu Ahiable, Volta, John Owusu Agyeman, Brong Ahafo, Daniel Agyekum, Ashanti and Danny A. Anang, Greater Accra, to examine the circumstances that led to the bloating of the voters' register, particularly in the Ashanti Region, with the view of ensuring a clean voters' register in the forthcoming elections.

Mr Debrah, the main spokesman of the chairmen, said the NDC lost the 2004 elections because the voters' register used for that election which was full of anomalies were not presented to political parties on time to enable them to correct the anomalies.

“We were given the 2004 electoral register less than two weeks to the elections so we could not detect the flaws but this time we will not sit by for the same problem to arise, as such the EC must make available the 2008 electoral register for examination and correction to make it possible for a credible election which result swill be acceptable by all,” Mr Debrah stated.

Asked about what the NDC would do if the final 2008 voters register was not released to the political parties within the stipulated period as being demanded since the EC had made it clear it was facing some financial difficulties, Mr Debrah said the government could call for financial assistance from development partners, adding, that that would go a long way to deepen the country's democracy.

Failure to do that, he said, would compel the NDC to continue to pressurise the government, adding that the party was not beating war drums but rather taking steps to strengthen democracy for succeeding generations.

Mr Debrah who produced a copy of the 2004 voters' register in some constituencies in the Western Region containing double registrations involving many voters, said the EC must quickly live up to its responsibility to ensure fairness in the 2008 elections by making available the voters register on time for scrutiny.

For his part, Mr Ohene Agyekum said since the EC had admitted that the present voters' register for 13 constituencies in the Ashanti Region was bloated, and assigned the reasons to an inadequate computer system and human error, it had become clear that some officials at the EC had been manipulating the system in favour of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).

He, therefore, called for a centralised computer system at the headquarters of the EC to link those in the regions instead of the regions operating in isolation in order to easily detect discrepancies in the voters register.

“So many things went wrong at the 2004 elections which impacted negatively on the NDC and we even doubt the legitimacy of President Kufour's presidency so we are keeping an eagle eye on the December elections for the country to have credible elections”, he stated.

When it came to his turn, Mr Ahiable said the EC's explanation that the errors detected in the current electoral register was due to human error was something which should not be accepted because the NDC believed that it was deliberately done to make it impossible for the NDC to win the elections, and called on the EC to take prudent measures to identify its officials who caused the problem to be sanctioned.

'We are not considering the EC as a corrupt organisation but all that we are saying is that there are some corrupt elements within the EC working for the interest of the NPP and must be dealt with”, Mr Ahiable stated.

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