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10.03.2012 Politics

EC seeks the clergy's help to compile credible voters' register

EC seeks the clergy's help to compile credible voters' register
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Sunyani, March 10, GNA – Mr. Samuel Boadu, Deputy Brong-Ahafo Regional Director of the Electoral Commission (EC), on Thursday appealed to the clergy to help the EC to compile a credible voters' register.

He said a credible biometric voter's register “could be a panacea to all election malpractices including rigging”, indicating the new system would promote fairness and transparency in the upcoming December polls.

Mr Boadu made the appeal at a one-day workshop on the biometric voters registration exercise due to commence on March 24 this year and attended by 140 Christian and Muslim leaders in Sunyani.

The workshop was jointly organised by the Ghana Pentecostal Charismatic Council (GPCC) and the office of the National Chief Imam.

Mr. Boadu told the spiritual leaders that God/Allah frowned on all forms of electoral fraud and advised them to sensitise their members to abstain from engaging in electoral malpractices as perpetrators would attract His punishment on earth and in eternity.

He said the EC could acquire a credible voters' register if all Ghanaians played their respective roles effectively and entreated religious bodies to also be a watch dog by exposing minors and foreigners who might attempt to register during the exercise.

The Deputy EC Director however stressed that “due to the features in the biometric registration machine, it will not be possible for anyone to impersonate” and gave the assurance that the Commission would do its best to provide a credible register.

Mr. Boadu said it would not benefit any member of the EC if the Presidential and Parliamentary elections were rigged and urged Ghanaians to maintain their confidence in the Commission to consolidate the country's fledgling democracy.

He appealed to civil society and non-governmental organisations to help create awareness and educate the general public on the biometric system so that majority of eligible voters would participate in the exercise.

Mr. Issah Nasagri, Brong-Ahafo Regional Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), said voting was a civic right and advised the participants to encourage their members to register in their numbers when the exercise begins.

He said any eligible voter who failed to participate in the exercise would not be allowed to exercise his or her franchise as the old voter's identification card would not be valid.

Mr. Nasagri expressed the hope that the EC would find lasting solutions to all the peculiar problems it recorded during the just-ended pilot of the biometric registration exercise.

Apostle Sansa Konjon, Brong-Ahafo Regional Secretary of the GPCC, in a welcoming address said since Christianity and Islam were the two dominant religions in the country, it therefore behooved on the leadership of the two bodies to help to make the exercise a success.

He observed that the December elections offered faith-based organisations another opportunity to play their divinely-inspired roles in Ghana's developmental processes.

Apostle Konjon, who is General Overseer of Zion Community Church International in the Sunyani Municipality, expressed optimism that the leadership of the two bodies would show commitment and adopt a more pro-active and holistic approach in preventing conflicts and violence before, during and after the general election.


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