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24.03.2004 Politics

Registration centres run out of forms

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Ho, Mar. 24, GNA- Two registration centres, Taviefe_Deme and Fiave Global Evangelical Church in Ho on Wednesday run short of voter's registration forms.
Mr Augustine Bansah, registration officer (RO) at Taviefe-Deme, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that the Electoral Commission (EC) supplied 50 forms when the centre's stock of registration forms run out on Tuesday, only for it to be exhausted, after 548 people were registered. At about 1000 hrs, when the GNA visited the centre, an Assistant Officer had been dispatched to the Volta Regional EC Directorate to collect additional materials to re-stock the centre to enable more eligible voters to be registered.
Mr Raphael Nyaho RO at the Fiave Centre appealed to the EC to provide it with more forms as what was left was inadequate, after recording 858 registered voters.
Mr Mohammed Addoquaye, Volta Regional Director of the EC has assured the public not to panic over the shortage of registration forms as the issue was being addressed to safeguard the integrity of the voter registration exercise.
He said his supervisors were working around the clock distributing supplementary forms.
Mr Addoquaye said as a short gap measure, forms were being retrieved and re-distributed from lowly populated areas to highly demanding areas to avert the exercise from stalling.
Meanwhile, at the Police Depot Centre, 600 people were registered while none of the party agents were present when GNA visited the Centre at 10.45am but Mr Frank Asamani, RO who was busy on the job, was optimistic that they would turn up later in the day.
Mr Gameli Gbemu, RO at the RC JSS said 923 eligible voters had so far been registered with more forms available for others to use. Registration Officer critises EC Tsito, (V/R) Mar. 24, GNA - A Registration Officer on Wednesday slammed the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) for not taking into consideration rudiments of determining remuneration packages before fixing the allowances of Registration Officials.
Mr Theophilus Doamekpor, who was speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) when it visited the Sokode-Gborgame L. A. Primary Centre said the EC should have considered the fact that the job was transient and extended beyond normal working hours.
He said there were other exigencies such as having to travel at short notice to source for materials in short supply, which so far they have had to do at their own expense.
Miss Innocentia Tenge, Registration Assistant expressed concern that the EC did not also take into consideration the fact that they (Registration Officials) were expected to work through normal recess periods for workers.
"The allowances are a mockery of us and must be raised further to at least 500,000 cedis taking into account the basics of determining overtime payments at workplaces", she stated.
There was no shortage of registration forms and other materials at all the eight centres visited at Sokode-Gborgame, Tsito and Anyirawase. The indication given to the GNA by Mr Moses Agbeli, Registration Officer at the Tsito Methodist Primary Centre was that the arrangement to lift forms from centres where they had extra to centres where there were shortages was working well.
At the time of the visits, 545 had registered at the Tsito E.P. Primary Centre, 586 the Tsito Methodist, 400 at Tsito JSS, 539 at Anyirawase Post Office, 290 at Anyirawase L.A. JSS, 621 at Sokode-Gborgame L.A. Primary and 602 at Sokode-Gborgame R.C. Primary.
All the Registration officers told the GNA that the exercise so far had been smooth and without incidents.
" We are overwhelmed by the turn-out so far but we expect a rush during the last hours of the exercise," Mr Branford Agbeve, Registration Officer for the Anyrirawase Post Office said.
He said he had to counsel some callers to go back since by their date of birth they gave him, they were under-age, adding that he thought they tried registering out of ignorance and not a contrived plan to beat the system.
Only National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP) observers were at the centres visited.