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03.12.2004 Politics

EC condemns suspicion among polling agents

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Agona Nkwanta (W/R), Dec. 3, GNA - Madam Eunice Akweley Roberts, a Commissioner of the Electoral Commission (EC) in charge of the Western Region, has expressed concern about suspicion among polling agents in the Ahanta West District.

She said such suspicion, could lead "to mistrust, disputes over the results and a fear of personnel engaged by the EC to assist it in the conduct of the elections".

Madam Roberts was speaking at the opening of a training session for 200 polling and candidate agents at Agona Nkwanta on Friday. She said the necessary groundwork had been done and there was no need for any polling agent to fear or harbour suspicion.

The EC Commissioner advised them not to physically handle electoral materials and to work hard to make the elections, free, fair and peaceful.

Madam Roberts stressed that a well-informed polling or candidate agent could facilitate the process and said an ill informed one could disrupt the elections, challenge the authority of the Presiding Officer and interfere in the polls.

She appealed to the agents to make their presence beneficial to the EC and the candidates or parties they represented.

Mr. Kobina Arkaifie, Director of Research and Monitoring of the EC, said agents had to monitor the ballot boxes and the entire exercise critically before and during the elections on December 7.

He said agents who collude among themselves to cheat during the elections could be sacked, adding, "be careful in your dealings and do not engage in acts that could disrupt the elections".

Mr. Arkaifie reminded them that as citizens of Ghana, they must not sell their conscience, but rather work in a manner that could promote the country's democracy.

Mr. Debrah Gyamfi, District Director of the EC, said the Commission had made arrangements for the blind, pregnant women, the physically impaired and the aged to enable them to vote early.

He said while tactile would be used by the blind, those who still wished to use their guides, would be allowed.

Mr Gyamfi said it would be against the electoral laws for anyone to campaign within the 200-metre radius of a polling centre and appealed to voters to abide by the rule.

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