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15.10.2008 Politics

Set ground rules for election declaration - EC urged

By myjoyonline


A group of influential and non-partisan individuals have called on the Electoral Commission to set ground rules that would regulate the dissemination of election results at the polling centers.

Election declaration has been one of the major problems that have bedeviled the country's electoral process with accusations of malpractices at the various polling stations by polling agents and media personnel.

Political party bigwigs are not spared the accusations, for instance, Mr. Obetsebi Lamptey of the New Patriotic Party and Bede Ziedeng, then with the National Democratic Congress, but now with the Democratic Freedom Party, were accused of declaring results in the 2004 elections, instead of the EC.

The influential group known as "Ghana First", which hopes to whip up nationalism in Ghanaians, said a more rigorous approach is needed to solve the problem.

Speaking to Joy News, a member of the group, Mr. Joe Abbey described polling stations results as crucial, and cautioned the media, especially the radio station from calling false results which he said could be a recipe for chaos.

"It must be part of the ethical requirements that no news paper or radio must put out results which are false.”

“If you have to put out numbers it should be one that has been counted and signed by the various polling agents of the political parties," he insisted.

He cited the recent episodes of electoral violence in Kenya and Zimbabwe as some of the excesses associated with the declaration of election results.

He called for more vigilance and tolerance at the various polling stations to ensure a peaceful December polls.

Story by Nathan Gadugah

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