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08.09.2004 Politics

EC Disproves allegations of disenfranchisement

By GNA

Hohoe, Sept. 8, GNA Mr Albert Kofi Arhin, Director of Elections at the Electoral Commission (EC), has dismissed as false National Democratic Congress (NDC) claims that the Commission masterminded the disenfranchising of 700 of its members in the Krachi District, during the recent voter registration exercise.

Mr Arhin told the Ghana News Agency in a telephone interview that, the Party's allegation was an exaggeration, unfounded and contrary to the situation on the ground.

He said the EC's investigations revealed that some names on the list drawn by the Party were people, who had been registered and issued with voter's identity cards, while others were people who did not exist.

Mr Arhin said their study further showed that, some of the people on the list refused to register, while others could not be traced at all.

The Director of Elections said, for instance, at Nwani village, one Kwasi Jabre, whose name was on the list was actually registered and issued with an ID card.

Jabre also identified some other names on the list as people, who were in possession of voter ID cards, Mr Arhin said.

He said the people of Kpelema, mostly Kokombas and predominantly farmers, failed to register, "which is also their constitutional right".

Mr Arhin said the Commission had no political interest in disenfranchising some segments of the population and that, it would be wrong for any individual, groups or political parties to think so. He said the country's infant democracy could be subjected to many tests but not the one in which the EC would become partisan in its activities, as that would "spell doom and chaos for the country".

Mr Arhin said despite reported shortages of registration forms in the Volta Region, about 20,000 unused forms were returned to the Commission by the close of the exercise.

He appealed to political parties to be circumspect with their electioneering activities and tactics in order not to derail the process of democratisation.

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