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20.01.2016 NPP News

NPP basis for new voters' register flawed

NPP basis for new voters' register flawed
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Accra, Jan. 20, GNA - Dr Nii Amu Darko, Founder and Leader of African Reform Movement (ARM), says the basis for the New Patriotic Party's (NPP) call for a new Voters' Register is flawed.

He said there is no doubt that Ghana's Voters' Register is over bloated but for the NPP to single out one region to make its case is not concrete enough because the discrepancies permeate all the regions.

Dr Amu Darko, also a Medical Doctor made the assertion in an interview with Ghana News Agency when the ARM held its first National Leadership Conference at the International Trade Fair Centre at La in Accra.

The ARM is a new group on the Ghana's political landscape, which is poised to contest in the November 2016 general election.

Dr Amu Darko said: 'NPP failed do a holistic job and had disappointed Ghanaians because they should have told the Electoral Commission (EC) that the voters' register inconsistencies are widespread across.'

He said their failure to do that has given the EC something to stand on to refuse their (NPP) demand, but; 'I will like to say that it is God who elects a leader'.

On what the ARM would do differently to restore credibility to the EC, Dr Nii Amu Darko proposed a two-tier system - Governing Board and a Permanent Secretariat for the Commission.

He said the Governing Board like a corporate board would have a chairperson and would make all decisions on the electoral process as well as ratify any election results before they are passed and gazetted.

The Permanent Secretariat would be an equivalent of a ministry, but would be headed by a Chief Executive Officer (CEO), who would represent the Secretariat on the Governing Board.

Dr Amu Darko said the Secretariat would be accountable to the Board and not a minister and that the legal effect of this arrangement is that EC is changed from a State to a public institution.

He said a seven-member Governing Board comprising representatives from the ruling party, largest opposition, Statistical Service, the Judiciary, the Police Force, Organised Labour and the CEO of the Secretariat.

On their functions, he said, the Board shall be established by an Act of Parliament and shall elect a Chairperson at its first sitting from its membership who shall be called the Electoral Commissioner.

The tenure of an Electoral Commissioner shall not be more than one electoral cycle.

He said advertisement and interview shall be caused for the appointment of a CEO to head the Management Committee of the Secretariat who may double as Secretary to the Board.

Other members shall be appointed to the Management Committee to assist the CEO in managing the Secretariat, which shall be guided by Public Service regulations to determine the conditions of service for members.

Dr Amu Darko said the Committee shall formulate, monitor and evaluate of policies regarding the electoral process and shall have oversight responsibility of all actions of the Secretariat.

The Management Committee shall perform any other duties conferred on it by the Constitution and shall perform any other duties by Acts of Parliament.

Dr Amu Darko said the structure would aim at improving the efficiency of the Commission and the level of transparency, independence and trust in the electoral process.

He said this arrangement would curtail the influence in electoral process by the government in power.

'In my opinion, election results are disputed because both major parties cheat and the logic of the loser is that the winner is the bigger thief hence the reluctance to accept results,' the Medical Doctor asserted.

He said the problems persist because of lack of trust in the EC and the determination of the two parties to win power at all cost as well as the unitary system and the winner takes all structure.


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