Ghana's Independent Electoral Commission is sharply denying
reports that the voter register is bloated with more than one million people
ahead of this year's general elections. Some political analysts say the
reported swollen register could be a recipe for an electoral dispute if the
electoral commission fails to address the perception of inaccuracies in the register.
Ghanaians reportedly expressed outrage about what they claim to be attempts to
cause confusion over the just ended registration exercise.
the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and main opposition National Democratic
Congress (NDC) accused each other of encouraging non-citizens as well as
underage Ghanaians to register ahead of the elections. Owusu Pare is the
communications director for Ghana's electoral commission. From the capital,
Accra, he tells reporter Peter Clottey that the electoral commission is
determined to ensure a free and fair vote.
have just come out of a registration exercise, and we are yet to get
provisional figures from the region. So, as I speak to you now, nobody can put
a finger on any number of applicants that are to be put on the voter register.
So it is not true to say that the voter register is bloated. We are expecting
that the regions will start giving us the total number of people they
registered in the various regions between the middle of this week to the end of
the week," Pare pointed out.
said the electoral commission has yet to determine how many people would be on
the register after receiving results from commission officials in the regions.
actually knows how many people have been registered at this stage, and that is
why I have to debunk the notion that the voter register could be bloated. But
we are not in position to tell how many people would be put on it until we have
some final figures from the region," he said.
denied speculation about the bloated voter register could undermine the
credibility of the December vote.
at all. It is not going to undermine the credibility of the elections. In fact
we are going to give copies of every register to all the political parties so
the political parties will know exactly how many people we have on the
register. Besides that, the system here is transparent at every polling
station. We have representatives of the political parties, so they observe what
happens at every polling station and report accordingly to their political
parties. And if there is anything that goes wrong then they will report it to
their respective political parties. So if there is no wrong at any polling
station, there is no reason why the credibility of the election could be
undermined," Pare pointed out.
He said the register is still in the process
of being verified for necessary corrections to be made in preparation for the
the registers we have now are only provisional. After the challenges have been
dealt with and the exhibition of the voter register has been done and names
have been deleted, then we will come out with a final register copies of which
we will give to the political parties. So there is no reason why these
registers should undermine the credibility of the polls in December this year,"
said the electoral commission would well be prepared to ensure a free and fair
vote in the general elections.
fact, we have just finished with this registration exercise. There are a few
more people to take their photographs so they could be given their voter ID
cards. And we hope to complete that assignment in the next two weeks, after
which we will go for the exhibition of the voter register. That is likely to
take about a week or 10 days. And then there would be the filing of nomination
for various candidates at parliamentary and presidential levels, and we will go
to the election proper in December. So everything is on course for the polls in
December," Pare noted.