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Ghana Electoral Body Pleased With Voter Registration Progress

Ghana's President John Atta Mills (front, C) is up for re-election in the upcoming December vote (file photo).

A top official of Ghana’s Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed satisfaction with the progress of voter registration ahead of the scheduled December general elections.

The INEC is compiling a voter list that is scheduled to end May 5th. The voters’ register would be used in the presidential, parliamentary and local elections.

David Kanga, deputy commissioner of the electoral commission in charge of Finance and Administration, said the INEC is using the biometric system which, he said, enables the electoral body to maintain quality control of the registration process.

“We should be expecting not more than 13 million registrations and, as of now, we’ve been able to capture…about 5.9 million,” said Kanga. “We are discovering double registrations and I think we are doing very well.”

Some of the participating political parties have expressed concern about possible multiple registrations which, they said, could tarnish the credibility of the vote. But, Kanga said the INEC has instituted mechanisms to ensure a reliable voters’ list.

“At the registration center, it is possible for us now to detect double registration, if it takes place at the same center,” said Kanga. “We have the capacity at the database level…to weed out any more duplicates which means that, if you didn’t go back to the station and went somewhere else, you will still be found out. We are hoping…at the end of the day, we are going to have a credible register devoid of multiple registrations.”

The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) recently inaugurated an Inter-Party Dialogue Committee (IPDC) to ensure a peaceful poll. The IPDC aims to work closely with the Interparty Advisory Committee and the electoral commission to address concerns of political parties to ensure transparent elections.

“The commission has established this standing relationship with the political parties…where we brief the political parties and this time at all levels [national, regional and district],” said Kanga.

“We will listen to their problems with the registration and then try to solve them…so we do not expect that, at the end of it [all], any of them will say there is anything wrong with the exercise that we have undertaken.”

Kanga urged all Ghanaians to be observant in the ongoing registration process.

“We should continue to be vigilant even throughout the electoral process…up to Election Day because I believe the cost of this exercise we are undertaking is so high…we are spending a lot of money on it, [and] if we don’t make use of it at the end of the day it will be like we have thrown our money away.”