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28.03.2012 General News

NPP smells sabotage in strongholds

By The Statesman
NPP smells sabotage in strongholds
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The Ashanti regional branch of the opposition New Patriotic Party says it is keenly monitoring events in the ongoing biometric voters registration exercise and will not hesitate to take the required legitimate action if what appears to be the deliberate attempt to frustrate voters in the party's stronghold is not adequately addressed by the Electoral Commission.

The party says it is appalled by the 'moves' by the EC and the ruling NDC to deliberately frustrate voters in the region, particularly in places like Manhyia, Subin, Bantama, Nhyiaeso and Kwadaso constituencies among others.

In an interview with the party's secretary in the region, Samuel Pyne, he indicated that all their rounds to most of the registration centres in the region showed that there was a “calculated ploy” by some people to frustrate the people and discourage them from registering.

He said the party would make a formal complaint to the EC with regard to the 'manipulations' it had so far identified with the process.

Meanwhile, the Greater Accra secretariat of the NPP has accused the EC of colluding with the ruling National Democratic Congress to manipulate the registration exercise to the electoral advantage of the ruling party.

According to a statement signed by the regional communications director, Michael Ampong, new voter registration centres had been created in the Greater Accra Region without the knowledge of the NPP.

“Shockingly, all these new Registration Centres are created in the perceived strongholds of the NDC. Similarly, the NDC has its agents in these numerous unannounced Registration Centres, suggesting that the NDC has extra information from the Electoral Commission which other political parties don't have,” the statement issued Saturday alleged.

It stated further that checks by the regional monitoring desk of the NPP had indicated that most of the registration equipment sent to the strongholds of the NPP were faulty.

The party has thus called on all stakeholders, including Civil Society organizations, Religious bodies “and all who are concerned about the Democracy, Peace and Stability to prevail on the EC and government to ensure fair play since the NPP would not tolerate any iota of cheating and manipulation from any quarters.”

“The NPP is wide awake and ready to face up to any challenge or threat if any attempt is made to disenfranchise legitimate Ghanaians,” the statement warned.

This paper's checks in the Ashanti region have also discovered some shocking revelations, with some of the officials unable to operate the machines for the exercise, thus causing a lot of anxiety among the long queues of voters determined to vote in the December polls to show the Mills-Mahama led government the red card.

Some anxious voters also complained about the rude behaviour of some of the officials at some centres, especially when they complained of the slow pace of the exercise.

Meanwhile, residents in the region have threatened to boycott the exercise if the situation does not change. Some angry residents told this paper they would consider demonstrating against the EC if things were not seen to be changing today.

Meanwhile, at the time of filing this report yesterday, the situation had still not improved.

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