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21.02.2009 General News

Electoral Commission moves for electronic registration

The Electoral Commission (EC) has announced plans to move away from manual to electronic form of voter registration before the next general election in 2012.

The Deputy Chairman of the EC in charge of Finance and Administration, Mr David Kanga, who made the announcement at a regional Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting in Cape Coast last Thursday, noted that the move was to reduce the hitches associated with paper registration.

He said the new development was expected to further safeguard the integrity of elections and ensure that the will of the people was what prevailed.

The meeting was sponsored by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and KAB Governance Consult and attended by representatives of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP), the Convention People's Party (CPP), the People's National Convention (PNC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

It was to review the last general election and discuss the way forward for future elections.

Mr Kanga noted that the days of appealing to people's conscience and moral values as a way of ensuring smooth and clean elections were over, adding that as society became more sophisticated, it was necessary that sophisticated methods were used in the process of election.

He condemned some district chief executives' interference in the last general election and advised the political parties to educate their members on the right things to do.

He also commented on the special voting exercise undertaken before the actual voting, saying that in subsequent elections there would be definite deadlines for receipt of names from institutions for the special voting and the list signed by a recognised authority.

Mr Kanga urged the authorities to adequately resource the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) to help educate the populace on electoral practices.

The Central Regional Director of the EC, Mr Samuel Tettey, urged the political parties to cooperate with the EC to enhance the credibility of future elections.

The participants urged the EC to review the special voting and the transfer of votes and work to ensure that the many hitches that were associated with those activities were rectified.

They called on all political parties to work to remove all forms of intimidation that sometimes mar elections.