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24.03.2012 Politics

EC on top of registration operational challenges

By GNA
EC on top of registration operational challenges
LISTEN MAR 24, 2012

Accra, March 24, GNA – Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC) said on Saturday that the Commission has in place technical mechanisms and experts to deal with any initial operational challenges that may crop up during the Biometric Voter Registration exercise.

“We anticipated operational challenges including equipment failure, difficulty in capturing data, and other human related hiccups and we have a mobile task force in place to deal with the issues as and when reported.

“People who notice any initial malfunction of any equipment should not panic but should report to the EC Officials...as much as possible lets reduce the incident of rushing to the radio stations without verification,” Dr Afari-Gyan told the Ghana News Agency in a telephone interview from Ashanti Region.

Dr Afari-Gyan who is in the Ashanti region to observe proceedings noted that the pilot exercise brought to the fore all operational challenges and that the Commission had the appropriate mechanism to resolve it.

"We have competent technicians and back-up systems to respond to any emergencies; however we need the cooperation of all for a successful exercise", the EC boss said.

Meanwhile a visit to some polling stations within the Accra metropolis by the Ghana News Agency revealed mixed reaction to the exercise. While the take-off was smooth at some polling stations, others encountered technical challenges.

At the Nima Victory International School, Mr Mahammed Alantogmah, the Registration Officer and Ms Fulera Ibrahim Registration Officer for St Krisito Catholic Church also at Nima were all satisfied with the process.

The GNA observed that in most registration centres visited, only Agents of the National Democratic Congress and New Patriotic Party were at post to monitor the process.

The biometric voter registration is being conducted in phases in clusters simultaneously in all regions across the country starting today, Saturday, March 24..

A team of registration officials with a set of equipment (kit) are assigned to a number of polling stations in an electoral area. The team will operate in a registration centre or polling station for a period of ten (10) days and move to another registration centre within the cluster for another 10 days.

The team will spend 10 days in each registration center - polling station until all registration centers in the electoral area are covered. Electoral areas that are large and have more polling stations will have two (2) or more registration teams.

According to the registration timetable, phase one of the registration exercise is from March 24 to April 2; the second phase continues almost immediately from April 4 to 13; third phase from April 15 to 24 and the final phase running from April 26 to May 5.

GNA

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