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17.11.2004 Politics

Electoral Commission briefs media

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Accra, Nov. 17, GNA - Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), on Tuesday called on the Media to report accurately on issues concerning the forthcoming elections to enable voters make informed decision.
He said it was a collective responsibility of all and not the sole responsibility of the EC to ensure that the electoral process was free and fair.
Speaking at Media briefing in Accra on the electoral process, Dr Afari-Gyan said any unfair representation of electioneering issues did not make for free and fair elections and would not give the electorate the opportunity to make informed decisions.
He said the EC facilitated the electoral process by ensuring that all the necessary materials needed for the elections were provided to enable every eligible voter to vote and urged the Media to help to educate people on the process.
Dr Afari-Gyan said the EC was training agents of political party candidates to observe the elections as a means of assisting those who could not afford to train their own agents.
He said some agents recruited by the parties to observe the elections were not conversant with the electoral process hence; they created confusion at the centres.
The Chairman of the EC, answering questions said nobody could manipulate the EC or himself to twist the electoral laws.
He said the Presiding Members and party candidate agents were always present to check any malpractices during the elections and had the power to sanction offenders when the need arose.
Dr Baffour Agyeman-Duah, Associate Executive Director of the CDD, said the Centre had rolled out a number of activities in support of the elections in fulfilment of its mission to consolidate and expand Ghana's democratic space.
He said the Centre was currently training more than 7,000 local observers for Election 2004 as well as monitoring the pre-elections period to report on breaches of the Electoral Laws and rules. Dr Agyeman-Duah said the Centre was also sponsoring weekly television debates for the political parties.
He said the CDD was satisfied with the preparation by the EC towards the elections though it acknowledged the challenges of Voters' Registration and sensitive to any appearance of doubt on the legitimacy and credibility of the electoral process.
He said the fourth elections of the Fourth Republic was an important milestone in Ghana's democratic development, adding that the success of the elections would demonstrate the maturity of the electoral system and Ghanaian democracy in general. 17 Nov. 04

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