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03.06.2004 General News

NDC tells EC not to give cause for suspicion

By GNA

Kumasi, June 3, GNA - Mr Emmanuel Nti-Fordjour, Ashanti Regional Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has cautioned the Electoral Commission (EC) not to do anything that would give cause for suspicion and thereby undermine the credibility of the December polls. "We expect of the Commission complete transparency, openness and fairness to all contesting political parties in the election", he said.

Mr Nti-Fordjour, who was speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Kumasi on Thursday, said his Party was not particularly happy with the way the EC handled the just ended Voters Registration and Photo-Taking exercises in Ashanti.

He said the NDC was disturbed by reports that the Commission was actively engaged in the taking of pictures of voters at the premises of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) and the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) even though the exercise was known to have officially ended in the Region.

"As far as we are aware, the date for the mopping up to cover all those who missed the chance to have their pictures taken is yet to be announced.

"We are constrained to believe that something fishy might be going on to give the ruling party an unfair advantage in this part of the country considered to be their stronghold."

Mr Nti-Fordjour said another source of worry to the NDC was the manner the Review Committees set up to go into the cases of voters, whose registration were challenged in areas where the Party had strong support base were doing things.

He mentioned the Ahafo-Ano South District, for an example, where he claimed that instead of those who filled the challenge forms being asked to provide evidence to show that the challenged voters were indeed unqualified, the opposite was the case.

"Those challenged are being asked to prove their citizenship and all sorts of funny excuses are being used to disqualify most of them," he alleged.

Mr Opoku Mensah, the Deputy Regional Electoral Officer, however, denied any wrong doing on the part of the Commission when contacted. He explained that those whose pictures were being taken were students from the Northern and other parts of the country that registered in Kumasi but were on holidays as well as other genuinely registered voters who for good reasons could not be present during the photo-taking exercise in the Metropolis.

"There is absolutely no hidden agenda or evil motive and that following the NDC's concern we have even stopped until the mopping up begins", he said. 03 June 04

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