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04.12.2008 Elections

EC ready for historic election on Sunday

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Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), on Thursday affirmed that Sunday's historic parliamentary and presidential elections will come on as scheduled and every eligible voter must cast his or her vote on that day.

“The final poll results could be declared within 72 hours after the end of voting,” Dr Afari-Gyan told the Ghana News Agency in an interview, stressing that everything was set for the elections.

The EC Chairman said the voting procedures remained the same. "The voting pattern is transparent and at each point of the voting process there is an identifiable glaring system, which would make it impossible for any one to cheat.

"The result of any polling station where the number of votes cast would exceed the number of registered voters would be cancelled.”

Dr Afari-Gyan urged Ghanaians, especially political party representatives, to avoid making wild allegations about imagined electoral fraud and suspicions because one would not get things done in his favour.

He condemned those who falsely believed the elections would be rigged and said people made pronouncements that tended to erode confidence in the elaborate electoral system.

The EC Chairman said: "Most of the time, we talk about rights without talking about our duties and responsibilities and then fail to understand and appreciate how the electoral system operates.”

Dr. Afari-Gyan said electoral laws were not made on political platforms and in the media, adding that anyone who was unsatisfied with any act of the electoral law should go to court.

He said some people were in the habit of fabricating cock and bull stories any time they are unable to have their way.

On activities at the polling stations, Dr. Afari-Gyan said each polling station would have two ballot boxes, one each for presidential and parliamentary vote and five seals for each ballot box.

Polling stations would also have indelible ink and thumbprint pads for marking the ballot papers, a voters' register and ballot papers based on the number of voters on the register.

He said polling stations will also have transferred voters' lists where applicable, list of proxy voters, absentee voters' list, name reference list, objected names list and enumeration sheets for male and female voters.

He said there will be five other forms at the polling stations - statements of the poll, declaration of results form, two handing-over certificates, forms of arrest and search of suspects.

Dr Afari-Gyan said there would be one presiding officer at each polling station with four polling officers to assist him.

At the constituency level, he said, one returning officer with two deputies would be responsible for the conduct and supervision of the elections under the direction of the District Electoral Officer and the EC.

The EC Chairman appealed to the media to abide by the Ghana Journalists Association guidelines on elections to ensure that the press was not seen as the cause of any trouble. He said it was only certified results that should be announced by the press and urged them to crosscheck any information, allegations and complaints or pieces of information that they would stumble upon before they go public to make them credible.

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