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03.09.2004 Politics

EC begins mopping up exercise at slow pace

By GNA

Accra, Sept. 3, GNA - The mopping-up exercise to capture more than 800,000 potential voters, who have not got their pictures taken to complete the voter registration process, began on slow pace on Friday. The nationwide photo-taking mopping-up exercise ends on Tuesday, September 7, 2004.

Most of the registration centres the GNA visited in parts of Accra, including Ablekuma, Ashiedu Keteke, Okaikwei, Ayawaso and Osu Clottey Constituencies were virtually empty with some officials attributing the low turnout to poor publicity.

Mr Kwesi Harrison of the Nima East Mopping Centre said the EC failed to provide adequate information about the centres. There were no directional signs, which normally aided potential voters to the centres. He said the jurisdiction of a mopping-up centre was too large - between 15 and 23 polling stations - making their location very difficult.

At the ATTC Kokomlemle Centre, Mr Evans Twum Barimah, the Lamination Officer said out of 1,035 potential voters to be captured, only one person had reported by 1100 hours.

He urged EC, the media and political parties to give publicity to the exercise. "We all have a responsibility to make the exercise a success to strengthen our democratic credentials within Africa," he said.

Political party agents were absent from the mopping-up centres in sharp contrast to the registration exercise in March during which the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP) posted their representatives to the centres.

The mopping-up exercise is to enable all voters, who registered during the exercise in March but were unable to get their photographs taken, to take advantage of the exercise to complete the voter registration process and be issued with voter identity cards.

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