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20.05.2004 Regional News

Photo taking in Volta region ineffective- MP'S

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Accra, May 20, GNA- Members of Parliament (MP'S) from the Volta Region, on Thursday described the on-going photo taking exercise in the Region as "ineffective" and called on the Electoral Commission (EC) to repeat the exercise from June 18 to 23, 2004.

Mr. Modestus Ahiable, NDC-Ketu North and spokesman for the MPs, told the Parliamentary Press Corps that the exercise was characterised by low turn out due to lack of sufficient information on the change of date for the exercise.

He said heavy downpour, insufficient and defective cameras had also affected the exercise, which was changed from the first date of June 18 to 23, to May 18 to 23, 2004.

He said the EC did not sufficiently inform residents of the region about the change of date, adding that even the few, who got wind of it and reported for the photo taking, were faced with difficulties such as long queues.

Mr Ahiable noted that it has become difficult for information to get across to residents of the region as the Volta Star FM had gone off air for the past one week, adding that it was even difficult to receive television transmission in the region due to transmission problems.

"We had to employ traditional means of information such as "gongon" beating and information vans to attract people to the photo taking stations, but that is not effective either because even where there are cameras, they are defective".

He said since the announcement of the new date for the photo taking, several residents have travelled outside the region and the country and had planned to return in June.

Mr. Steve Akorli, NDC-Ho East said: "as at Thursday morning, when I was leaving my constituency for Parliament, there were 10 communities without cameras and several people reported at the various polling stations where there were also no cameras".

Ms. Akua Sena Dansua, NDC-North Dayi, said there were 18 communities in her constituency where there were no cameras. Mr. Kosi Kedem, NDC-Hohoe South said "I believe this whole ineffective manner of the photo taking exercise in the Volta Region is not by defect but by design - a deliberate attempt to disenfranchise the people of the region."

The MPs therefore called for at least five days mopping up exercise beginning from June 18, to enable those who would be denied in the May exercise to take their photos.

Earlier, Parliament observed a minute silence for the late C. O. Nyanor, NPP-Upper Denkyira, who passed away on April 30. 2004.