GUPS PRESS RELEASE ON BIOMETRIC VOTER'S REGISTRATION EXERCISE.
The Ghana Union of Professional Students wishes to commend the Electoral Commission of Ghana for adopting the biometric system of registering voters. It is our belief that the exercise is to lead to a more credible voter's register which will form the basis for credible elections come December 2012.
However, we will like to express some concerns over the process. The registration has been characterised by long queues in several polling stations. Although this may be seen as a positive indication of civil awareness, we fear these queues are a result of faulty equipment, slow EC staff and lack of information about when registration begins in some polling stations. We find it disturbing that several productive hours are being wasted in long queues.
We are also unhappy about reports of intimidation and disruption that has marred the process in some polling stations. Myjoyonline.com and other Ghanaian newspapers have reported news of disturbing nature such as “Biometric Registration: 4 shot, 2 cutlassed, houses torched at Arugu.” GUPS will like to state strongly our commitment to peace. We have already demonstrated this by embarking on a peace walk in collaboration with the University Students Association of Ghana, and petitioned the Electoral Commission and Office of the President.
We would like to make a further appeal to the EC to make special provisions for all tertiary students who may find it difficult to register because of their busy schedule. Tertiary students are politically conscious and as the future of our dear nation, it would be dreadful if they are unable to fully participate in the democratic exercise.
We appeal to all political parties to follow the rules laid-down by the EC for the process, especially in registering their displeasure with certain occurrences. We also caution them not to engage in any illegal act in their quest to win or maintain political power. We advise all students not to allow themselves to be used by any party in potentially unlawful acts.
We call on all stakeholders including the clergy, security forces, media and electoral commission to be fair and non-partisan in the performance of their duties. Thank you.
Press and Information Secretary