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19.12.2004 Politics

Political parties blamed for rejected and spoilt ballot papers

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Kumasi, Dec. 19, GNA - A Youth Leader said political parties should be blamed for the spoilt and rejected ballot papers recorded during the recent elections, and not the Electoral Commission (EC) nor the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE).

Odeneho Kwaku Appiah, former President of Youth in Action, an embodiment of youth groups, said even though the EC and NCCE had a stake in the education of the electorate on voting procedure political parties had a greater responsibility in such an exercise, especially how to thumb print ballot papers.

Odeneho Appiah was addressing a meeting of leadership of youth clubs drawn from the kumasi Metropolis in kumasi, on Sunday. The meeting was to give participants the opportunity to assess the contributions of the youth in the just ended successful general election.

Odeneho Appiah said: "political parties neglected their responsibility to educate their membership on how to vote, and rather focused their entire attention on campaigning for more members and votes".

He lauded the EC for organising a credible elections, which did not leave room for complaints from any quarters.

Odeneho Appiah, however, said the EC could have done much better, with requisite resources and appealed to the Government, non-governmental organisations, World Bank and the European Union, to increase their assistance to the commission in future elections. He suggested to the government to provide all regional and district offices of the EC with fax machines and computers to enable them effectively link up with the EC headquarters.

Odeneho Appiah said it was prudent for the state to fund political parties towards the sustenance of democracy and asked the government to take a second look at the issue.

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