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17.02.2004 General News

EC to enforce electoral laws

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Kumasi, Feb. 17, GNA - The Electoral Commission (EC) will rigidly enforce the laws and regulations governing the electoral process especially the voters registration exercise to the letter to ensure that a credible voters register is produced for the 2004 elections and subsequent ones Mr Kwadwo Sarfo-Kantanka, Deputy Chairman of the EC in-charge of Operations has warned.

He said the EC has cautioned the leadership of political parties to refrain from organising their supporters to engage in malpractices that could undermine the integrity of the registration exercise, since that could send them to jail before the Election Day. Mr Sarfo-Kantanka gave the warning at a day's training seminar on the voters registration exercise for political party leaders and the media in Kumasi on Monday.

The seminar, which was organised by the EC in collaboration with the USAID and KAB Consult, aimed at sensitising the participants to enable them create the necessary awareness on the incoming voters registration exercise among the people.

Mr Sarfo-Kantanka said the EC had instituted the necessary precautionary measures to ensure that people did not cheat.

He, however, said the EC alone could not ensure a credible electoral process and called on all stakeholders to play their respective roles effectively to ensure the success of the process.

Mr Sarfo-Kantanka reiterated that the EC would not extend the two weeks period allocated for the exercise and appealed to parties to educate their supporters to turn out to register in their numbers.

Mr Samuel Ennin, Ashanti Regional Chairman of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), accused politicians of shirking their responsibilities of assisting to provision of a credible voters' register only to turn round to make wild unfounded allegations, which at times created tension and confusion in the minds of the electorate.

He urged media practitioners to be circumspect in their reportage and help in maintaining peace.

Mr Samuel Yorke-Aidoo, Ashanti Regional Director of the EC, said the voter registration exercise was the most crucial component of the electoral process.

He urged the political parties and the media to devote much of their activities during the next six weeks to creating the necessary awareness so that all eligible voters would register.

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