Limited registration exercise; EC hopeful of meeting target despite slow start
The Electoral Commission (EC) on Thursday April 28, 2016, begun the limited registration exercise to register citizens who have turned 18 since the last elections, including those who were unable to register previously.
Most registration centers recorded low turnout partly due to low publicity about the exercise but the EC says it is hopeful of meeting its target of registering 1.5 million people by the close of the exercise on May 8.
Local election monitoring group, Coalition for Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), attributed the low turnout to low publicity.
“Publicity has been very low in this particular exercise. They [EC] have not come out [to do publicity]. In the first place they were late in coming out to do publicity. And then when they started, it was just on the radio and little bit on the television,” National Coordinator of CODEO Kofi Arhin told Joy News channel on Multi TV.
Apart from the low publicity, rain in some parts of the country nearly marred the process, as it deterred people from coming out to register.
Scuffles and misunderstanding between the agents of the two main political parties – the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress – brought the exercise to a standstill in some centres.
In the Ashanti region, wrong dates were printed on the ID cards.
The exercise started on April 28, 2016 but the ID cards issued on that day had April 27, 2016 as the date, an anomaly the EC admitted but noted that the commission will address it.
In the Eastern region, accreditation forms issued to political party agents had the old logo of the EC on it though all other documents for the registration had the newly outdoored logo.
In the Central region, the NPP stormed a registration centre it says was not part of the first phase of the registration exercise.
The party’s supervisor for the limited registration exercise in the region, Paa Kow Cole, told Accra based 3FM that people from Elimina and other places are being bussed to come and register, adding that the centre was scheduled for the second phase of the exercise – May 3-8.
“So we were prepared for that and concentrating on other centres only to hear that people were being bussed from Elmina and other places to come and register, that is why the people alerted us,” Cole alleged.
He added that about 26 people were registered yesterday and “so we came and stopped them this morning”.
He further alleged that when the NPP got to the Kwaprow registration center, only NDC agent was there and wanted the EC to explain the anomaly.
Mrs. Philomena Adusei, Central Regional EC Director, responding to the allegations on TV3, said the issue has come to the commission’s attention and that officers have been dispatched to the centre to rectify any anomaly.
Meanwhile, Director of Public Affairs at the Electoral Commission of Ghana, Christian Owusu Parry has said the first day of the exercise was encouraging.
“Reports indicate that the turnout is very encouraging,” Parry told Pulse.com.gh.
“By statistical service analysis, they indicated to us that we should expect between 1.2 to 1.3 million applicants and that is what we are targeting to capture. If exceeds the targeted figure and they are all genuine applicants, there wouldn’t be any problem,” he added.
By: Abu Mubarik/ghanadecides.com