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02.03.2009 Politics

EC to weed out dormant parties

EC to weed out dormant parties

The Electoral Commission (EC) has dropped hint of moves to expunge the names of non-functional political parties in the country from the books of the commission.

A member of the commission, Mrs Pauline Adobea Dadzawa, who gave the hint, explained that some political parties only existed in name and went dormant moments after elections, only to spring up during an election year.

"We cherish multi-party democracy, and are ever. prepared to encourage it, but some political parties are simply not existing and functioning as expected so many of them will soon be weeded out," she-warned.

"We are aware that some of the political parties are non-functional and, therefore, have no business to continue existing in our record books," she said.

Mrs Dadzawa was speaking at the Ashanti Regional Inter-Party Advisory Committee (RIPAC) review meeting in Kumasi last Friday.

The meeting, which sought to review the performance of the EC in relation to the last general election, was attended by representatives of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the-Convention People's Party (CPP) and the People's National Convention (PNC).

Those heard of during the election period but not present included the Democratic People's Party (DPP), the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP), the New Vision Party (NVP), the Reformed Patriotic Democrats (RPD), the United Renaissance Party (URP) and the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP).

Some officials from the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), the media and the Catholic Church also attended the meeting.

Mrs Dadzawa pointed out that while some of the political parties had functioning offices in all the regional capitals, as well as at the district and zonal levels, making participatory democracy more vibrant, " it is very difficult to trace the offices of some other political parties, and even the few ones dotted across the country are filled with coal pots, cooking utensils and other materials, giving the impression that they are not operating as serious political parties".

Mrs Dadzawa, who is the Ashanti Regional representative of the EC, also expressed concern over some 'words used by a section of party representatives in the run-up to the last general election.

She gave the assurance that the EC was putting measures in place to make the 2012 general election more transparent to sustain democracy in the country and appealed to the media to be supportive to enable the EC to implement its programmes and policies that would make the next general election more credible.

She also appealed to the various political parties to attend all RlPAC meetings and make meaningful contributions during such meetings to enable them to address problems that undermined smooth elections.

During the forum, the party representatives urged the EC to investigate issues relating to the quality of the indelible ink used for the elections.

They disclosed that some herbal concoctions, when applied to fingers marked with the indelible ink, easily erased the ink, making it easy for some people to undertake multiple voting.

They also appealed to the EC to provide vehicles for the leadership of the political parties on time to enhance their campaigns, instead of waiting till the last minute before such vehicles were released.

The representatives also appealed to the EC to ask the government to pay party agents during elections to encourage the agents to monitor the elections very well.

Earlier, the Ashanti Regional Deputy Police Commander, ACP Kwasi Duku, had refuted allegations that the police personnel who were deployed to the polling centres were not given any incentives.

He said the Police administration made sufficient provisions for police personnel in the form of cash for their meals "so it was wrong for any party to have provided any food or money to any police officer.”