25.03.2004 Politics

EC orders 500,000 new Registration Forms

25.03.2004 LISTEN

Accra, March 25, GNA- The Electoral Commission (EC) has ordered 500,000 new Registration Forms expected to be delivered before the end of the exercise on Monday, March 29.
It said the leftover registration forms from previous registration exercises had been put into circulation, especially to the needy centres as a way of ensuring that all eligible voters register within the period set for the exercise.
A statement issued by the Commission in Accra on Thursday and signed by Mr Henry W. Okyne, Director of Public Affairs said the information on the old forms used would be transferred onto the new forms upon arrival.
The statement said this was made known during an emergency Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting in Accra on Thursday to discuss the on-going Voters registration exercise and its associated problems. Issues discussed included shortage of registration forms at some centres particularly in Accra, non-availability of indelible ink, poor quality of the indelible ink and photos for the Identity Cards (ID). Other issues were the late start of the exercise at some centres, unnecessary interference of the process by some party officials and agents and interference with persons presenting themselves for registration.
The statement said other issues discussed were, criss-crossing of registration forms at some centres, illegal possession of registration materials by some party activists and the need for a possible extension of the registration period.
It said " the Commission was aware of the concerns raised and had taken steps to rectify all shortcomings which came up especially during the commencement of the exercise".
On the supply of indelible ink, the Statement said the ink supplied was new and potent but regretted that some negligible percentage of operatives at the registration centres might have applied some of the old stock which inadvertently got to the registration centres. The Commission therefore, assured all registered political parties and the public of its commitment and determination to ensure a successful registration exercise.
It said the extension of the period for the exercise would be considered through careful monitoring and close study of the situation in the next few days, adding " if it became clear that there is the need for an extension the Commission will do so".
The Commission expressed appreciation to all Ghanaians for the understanding and co-operation to make the exercise a success.

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