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We are ready for the 2016 elections-EC assures Ghanaians


imageAll will be fine on election day, the Electoral Commission has reassured Ghanaians.  To this end, the commission says it is on course to ensuring that the 2016 elections are conducted peacefully without hitches despite some political parties raising doubts about its work.

Alhaji Amadu Sulley, a deputy commissioner of the EC, gave the reassurances in Tamale on Monday at a one day capacity building workshop for journalists. He told the journalists that the commission had ordered some offshore items which will arrive on time for the it to conduct the elections on November 7.

He also added that the new date of November 7, which is on a Monday, has been agreed to by all stakeholders after consultations and that the date has been gazetted after undergoing thorough processes.

Alhaji Sulley explained that the commission’s new election day has two clear advantages: one, it will afford parliamentarians to have ample time to travel to constituencies and, two, it will enable the easy transportation of election materials to the various constituencies across the country.

The electoral commission, he said, is putting some changes in place to enable it adopt CI 75, which governs the conduct of elections such as nominations, printing of ballots, the voting date and the declaration of election results.

Under the current EC arrangement, the elections results will be transmitted electronically with a central point in Accra. Explaining the CI 91 and election reporting, Alhaji Amadu Sulley said there will be giant screens in Accra for the media on Election Day where all results will be appearing through its electronic system to ensure transparency.

To ensure transparency and subsequently prevent accusations and finger-pointing directed at the EC, Alhaji Sulley said the commission will have pictures of all officers working in this year’s elections in their offices for political parties and other interest groups to view.

To boost its efforts at transparency,  the commission will also count on the District Registration Review Committee (DRRC) at the constituency levels. The committee, which has a supervising high court judge as its chief registration officer, was constituted by the EC to look into issues after elections at the constituency level. It has four strong groups and representative from all registered political parties. Other members of the review committee include the Ghana Education Service (GES) District Director, the District Police Commander and a representative from the traditional council.

On the commission’s new logo, Alhaji Sulley declined to explain the rationale behind it, saying the logo is yet to be launched.

ROPA not feasible
Alhaji Sulley who has over three decades experience in election management expressed doubts that eligible Ghanaian voters resident outside the country will be able to vote as stipulated in the Ghana’s 1992 constitution under the Representative of People Amendment Act (ROPA).

Article 427 of the constitution states that “every citizen of Ghana of eighteen years of age or above, of sound mind has the right to vote and is entitled to be registered as a voter for the purposes of public elections and referenda”.

This right has been duly effected since the 1992 democratic dispensation in Ghana. However, Ghanaians living and working outside the country either at the United Nations or with any other international organization have not been able to exercise that right.

Alhaji Sulley said the difficulty in implementing the law was a serious matter which stakeholders need to find answers to. “Who should be the registration officer in the countries outside Ghana? You know counselors and ambassadors are appointed by an elected president and we are in a very polarized country so the trust will become an

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