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25.11.2008 Editorial

EC must be careful


A little over a week ago, the Director in Charge of Elections at the Electoral Commission (EC), Mr. Albert Kofi Arhin, went public with inmformation that his outfit had so far removed 500,000 names from the voters' register.

He said those who were involved in double registration, took advantage of the amnesty that they granted to come forward to assist the EC delete one of their names. Parents also led their children, who were under 18 years, but managed to get their names into the register, to the EC offices to have their names removed from the register.

Barely two days after The Chronicle had come out with this story, which was monitored on TV3, the Chairman of the Commission, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan, also went public denying that such names had been removed from the register.

He admitted that some names had been deleted from the register, but said not to the magnitude that was put in public domain by the Director of Elections.

The Chronicle finds the pronouncement and the counter-denial by Afari Gyan as very dangerous, and we call on officials of the EC to watch their public comments very carefully.

The stakes in this year's elections are very high, therefore, EC officials must be careful not to do anything that a politician could capitalise on to cause mischief.

It beats our imagination that a whole Director of Elections could come out with a figure, only for it to be rebutted by his boss. Any mischievous person would be asking the source of the information that had been fed to the public by the two senior personalities at the EC.

To avoid confusing the public, The Chronicle advises that the EC officials must channel all such public comments through their Public Relations Department. If this cannot be done at all times, senior officials can seek views of their colleagues, before going public with vital information regarding the elections.

In a nutshell, they must harmonise their operations, because if they continue to feed the public with inaccurate information, they would be setting the tone for the politicians and the general public to doubt their sincerity.

Whether next month's elections would be peaceful or not, would depend largely on how the EC conducts itself, that is why we are calling on them to be mindful over what they say in public.

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