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21.10.2008 Politics

Takoradi EC office not safe

By gna

The Effia-Kwesiminstim and Takoradi Sub-Metropolitan office of the Electoral Commission (EC) faces unnecessary disruptions and intrusion in its operations and this could affected the entire electoral process before, during and after the December general elections this year.

A Ghana News Agency (GNA) investigations has revealed that the building which accommodates the EC, belongs to the Veterans Association of Ghana (VAG), and also hosts the Victory Bible Church and a live lotto draw is held there every Thursday.

The EC, which had rented the place as its temporary office, must as a matter of urgency be re-located, to safeguard the integrity of the pending elections in the two heavily populated constituencies.

Two Electoral Returning Officers for the Effia-kwesiminstim and Takoradi Constituencies are compelled to share a store room that has been converted into an office.

Apart from the poor ventilation, musical instruments of the church and other properties are stored there and make movement difficult and unfriendly.

This could encourage any daring intruder to pilfer and tamper with EC materials kept there.

It is therefore prudent that the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) and the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) worked around the clock to re-locate the EC to a safer building within the metropolis.

The Ghana News Agency has observed over time that on many occasions Officers of the EC were compelled to stay outside the hall and allow other users of the room to complete their activities before they began work, while on other days, they were compelled to close early to enable members of the church to take over for their singing rehearsals.

On many occasions, the work of the EC had been disrupted, but the officials seem helpless, while Election Officers recruited for national assignments look on irritated.

On Thursdays, the EC officers stationed at the venue, have no other choice but to wait outside till after 1100 hours when Lotto operators who occupy the building mostly from 0500 hours to 1000hours have left before they resume work.

The Regional Director of the EC, Mr Steve Opoku-Mensah, when contacted noted that though the place was not comfortable, they were managing with it.

He noted that a re-location would be ideal but until then, they have to do with what they have.