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04.09.2004 General News

EC to exhibit voters' register in October

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Accra, Sept 4, GNA - Mr David Adeenze-Kangah, Deputy Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), at the week said the exhibition of the voters' register would take place in October.

He was, however, not firm on the exact date when the exercise would start to allow prospective voters to crosscheck their particulars and make the necessary corrections before the December 7 2004 polls.

Mr Adeenze-Kanga was speaking on "an overview of the electoral process in Ghana," at an orientation workshop for 50 election observers in Accra organised by the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) in collaboration with the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) to train them to monitor and report on pre-election activities. Participants were being taken through the "importance of pre-election monitoring," "the role of pre-election monitors/guidelines for pre-election monitors" and "reporting format" of election monitoring. Mr Adeeze-Kangah said that it cost 1.5 billion cedis to organise the current mopping up exercise, adding that, the EC would consider the outcome in organising the exhibition.

No person selected by a party to represent it in the elections, could be called a candidate until the final register was out was out, Mr Adeenze-Kangah said, adding that, apart from one presidential election, the EC would organise 230 parliamentary elections, at 21,000 polling stations on the election day.

He cautioned election monitors and observers to be impartial and vigilant, and said that they should not allow their actions to enhance the chances of a candidate or party to win or lose the elections.

One's vote is his or her secret, Mr Adeeze-Kangah, said and called on the electorate to vote according to their conscience and should not be influenced or induced with gifts to cast their ballot for any candidate or party to ensure the credibility of the elections.

"I will take the car, the bags of rice and vote according to the way I want to vote. Take the gifts, but vote according to your conscience", the Deputy EC Chairman said.

He said the electorate must refuse to take the oaths some politicians use to threaten people to vote for them. "It appears we don't respect voters in the country", Mr Adeenze-Kangah said.

Inducements to vote in a certain direction would stop or reduce if the electorate voted according to their conscience, he said. Mr Adeenze-Kangah disclosed that the EC would introduce a folder with numbers on them for blind voters to feel and make their choice of candidate on voting day.

He said it was against the electoral laws to intimidate voters, run away with ballot boxes and to vote more than once.

Mr Adeenze-Kangah said the EC would soon announce a process for the replacement of lost voter ID cards and stated that there may be a revision of the voters' register next year.

Dr Audrey Gadzekpo, Lecturer, School of Communication Studies, Legon, urged the monitors to be vigilant, non-partisan and to report accurately.

She said CODEO would be deploying 7000 observers for the election.

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