01.12.2008 Politics

EC spell out rights and responsibilities of the electorate

01.12.2008 LISTEN

The Electoral Commission (EC) on Monday spell out the rights and responsibilities of the electorate to ensure Election 2008 is conducted in an orderly and peaceful environment in accordance with laws and electoral procedures.

In an interview with Ghana News Agency in Accra, Mr David Adeenze-Kangah, Deputy Chairman of EC in-Charge of Finance and Administration said the laid down regulations were to ensure that the voter cast the lot with a clear conscience without the dictates or influence of an outsider.

He said the polling booth would be constructed to protect the image and integrity of the electoral system and enforce the casting of ballot in secret condition without any interference.

Mr Adeenze-Kangah urged the electorate to; “know the candidates and the important issues in the election, express opinions about candidates, issues and the campaign without fear or intimidation and be assisted at the polling station to vote in case of a physical disability.”

He said it was the duty of the electorate to vote on December 7, vote only once, give other voters the chance to vote, keep the vote secret, and be law-abiding at the polling station.

“Leave the polling station after casting your vote,” stressing, “the polling station is a restricted area, so you must stay within a reasonable distant if you still want to observe the process, but do not interfere in any way,” Mr Adeenze-Kangah stated.

“As a voter do not engage in bribery, a person commits the offence of bribery if he/she gives or receives, or causes to be given or receive, money, a gift, a loan or something of value as a means of inducing a person to vote or not to vote in a certain way.

“A person commits the offence of treating if he/she personally or through an agent gives or accepts meat, drink, entertainment or provision for purposes of voting or refraining from voting,” he stated.

On electoral offences, Mr Adeenze-Kangah said a person committed an offence by engaging or attempting to engage in multiple voting, or attempts to vote more than once at the same election.

He said “a person commits the offence of undue influence if he/she personally or through an agent uses or threatens to use force, violence or restraint against a person, inflicts or threatens to inflict temporal or spiritual injury, damage, harm or loss to a person.

“Compels somebody to vote in a particular way; by abduction, duress or other fraudulent means impedes or prevents a voter from freely exercising his/her franchise”.

On impersonation, Mr Adeenze-Kangah said: “A person commits the offence of impersonation if he/she votes or attempts to vote in the name or with voter identity card of another person, living, dead or fictitious.

“To compel or induce a candidate to withdraw his/her candidature, to canvass for votes or seek to find out how a person intends to vote within 500 metres of a polling station and to take to a polling station anything that reveals the candidature or party you intend to vote for.”

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