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Politics | Jul 9, 2004

OPINION: Electoral Commission Must Watch Out

Ghanaian Chronicle

The poor registration and photo taking exercise for this year's election must not be perceived as a joke because the nation's serene political atmosphere and growth of its infant democracy rest largely on the way and manner in which the Electoral Commission (EC) conducts itself.

It's crystal clear that the EC has a track record of having organized three successive elections in the country; but this time round, it seems the EC has lost focus and is doing things haphazardly.

Formerly, the commission registered the electorate with ease, which allowed every eligible Ghanaian to exercise his or her franchise.

However, it has come under severe criticism, following inconsistencies in the registration in this year's election, which has made some politicians smell the rat that the EC is being manipulated by the ruling NPP government, to achieve its goal of retaining power in the December election.

Let's not forget that any manipulation, real or imagined, by government to dislodge the EC from its neutral position, has the tendency of sending a country into chaos. For instance, the civil war in Ivory Coast broke out as a result of presumed manipulation of electoral results.

Since we Ghanaians don't want to witness such an evil event in our backyard, the EC must do the right thing to enable us continue enjoying the peace we have enjoyed from previous years to date.

The EC should know that the outcome of this election depends solely on the way it conducts itself.

It is ,therefore, the duty of the EC to live up to the aspirations of Ghanaians and the international community, not to please a particular group of persons or political parties. The time for the EC to asseert its dignity and intergrity is now.

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