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03.10.2008 Politics

Put voters' register on EC's website

Put voters' register on EC's website

Representatives of three political parties have called on the Electoral Commission to put the voters register on their website to assist in the cleaning of the register.

This, they said, would also clear any doubts or suspicion from the minds of the electorate.

The three, National Democratic Congress (NDC), EGLE Party and the Democratic People's Party (DPP), made the call in Accra on Thursday at the maiden meeting of the Greater Accra Regional Election Security Task Force with representatives of the political parties.

Although all the political parties were invited to the meeting, only the NDC, EGLE and DPP responded to the invitation.

The NDC was represented by FIt Lt Nii Tackie and Ahmed Sharm, while Mr Francis Lokko and Alhaji Abdul Moomin Abdallah represented the EGLE, with Capt Philip Agbeyome (retd) representing the DPP.

They also called for the opening of a channel of communication for free flow of information among the parties to help build trust and confidence in the system.

According to them, constitutional vandalism arose when suspicion characterised elections and urged the EC to endeavour to eliminate all suspicions before and after the elections.

The Chairman of the task force, who is also the Accra Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) James Oppong-Buanuh, assured them that the security agencies would be neutral, fair and firm in the discharge of their duties during the elections.

He said the security agencies were a non-partisan body committed to ensuring that the elections were conducted in a safe atmosphere, adding that "we cannot have free and fair elections if we do not have adequate security and an atmosphere of law and order".

He said to be able to do this, the task force had recognised the need to collaborate with stakeholders like the political parties, the media and the electorate in general.

DCOP Oppong-Buanuh appealed to the political parties to conduct their campaigns in an atmosphere of healthy exchange of ideas without fear of intimidation or molestation from the security.

"We have had services of joint training seminars and exercises aimed at sharpening our skills and making them better equipped for ensuring law and order in the periods ahead," he said.

He reminded them that the provisions of the Public Order Act, which required that any person wishing to organise a public event notified the police not less than five days before the date of that event was still in place.

DCOP Oppong-Buanuh said the police could redirect the routes or location or asked for a postponement of the event, if it was likely to generate violence.

He advised the youth of the country not to allow themselves to be used by anybody to break the law because the long arm of the law would definitely catch up with them.

A representative from the EC Mr Mohammed Addoquaye, assured the meeting that the EC would do its best to discharge its duties as stipulated by law.

He said preventing electoral fraud was a shared responsibility for all and not the EC alone.

He said it was the responsibility of political parties to restrain their followers from engaging in any political violence or electoral malpractices.