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18.02.2004 Regional News

Government urged to support EC to acquire more cameras

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Koforidua, Feb. 18, GNA - The National Organizer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo has urged the government to find money for the Electoral Commission (EC) to enable it to acquire more cameras for the forthcoming voters' registration exercise.

He noted that the current arrangement for the provision of voters registration cards with photos could be frustrating for some voters who would like to vote at their hometowns, if they would have to travel to their home towns to register and then return at another time for their photos to be taken.

Mr Ofosu-Ampofo made the call at a meeting of the Eastern Regional Executive and some constituency executives of the party at Koforidua on Monday.

He said the situation even looked somehow complicated in the case of the Ashanti Region where the 300 cameras of the EC would not be sufficient for all the over 3,600 polling stations and so the cameras would have to stay longer in the region alone and expressed the fear that such situation could create conditions for the idling cameras to be used for mal-practices.

Mr Ofosu-Ampofo explained that if one compared the amount of money that would be needed to maintain the peace, should there be any electoral dispute created by problems associated with the registration exercise, it was worthwhile for the country to commit more resources to support the exercise to enable the country to go through another successful voting.

He said for the time being, the party would no longer provide buses for its supporters to attend rallies because the party wanted to test its support on the ground.

Mr Ofosu-Ampofo assured the constituency executives that evidence on the ground showed that the party had the chance to win the 2004 elections and that what was left "is for the members of the party to sacrifice a little and put in more efforts."

Mr Baba Jamal, National Deputy General Secretary, said the party was putting in place measures to ensure that all the necessary resources for the registration exercise and the electoral campaign were provided for members who would sacrifice their time.

The Eastern Regional Chairman of the Party, Mr Fred Ohene-Kena reminded supporters that once the party was in opposition, things would not be as they used to be, hence the need for the party to strategise in the use of its resources to achieve the maximum results.

Mr Anthony Gyampoh, Eastern Regional Secretary of the party, stated that the NDC had more supporters than the New Patriotic Party but the NDC could only prove this if the constituency executives could appoint literate, committed and dedicated observers to man the registration centres during the forth-coming replacement of the voters register.

The Koforidua Constituency Chairman, Mr David Sarpong Boateng said if the EC was well resourced to conduct the exercise, it could use its resources to provide consultancy services for other African countries at a fee.

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