Politics of Sunday, 11 November 2012
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) at the weekend started training its polling agents for the December elections.
The agents are being equipped with the requisite knowledge and skills to enable them monitor the elections effectively, an official stated at a workshop organised by the party at the Institute of Local Government Studies in Accra.
The NDC Official said the agents are carefully selected to ensure that they protect the interest of the party especially during the elections.
The NDC affirmed its preparedness to provide agents in the more than 22,000 polling stations, across the country.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency after the training, Mr Kofi Attor, a leading member of the NDC said the party would take all measures within the confines of the electoral laws to secure free, fair, transparent and credible elections.
As a first step, he said, the party sought the assistance of Electoral Commission (EC) officials to train leading members of the NDC.
The EC has already distributed hundreds of copies of “A Guide to Candidates and their Agents,” to the political parties contesting the December polls.
The guide is to aid the parties to train their polling agents for Election 2012 as well as aid both presidential and parliamentary candidates on the constitutional requirement for contesting for public elections in Ghana.
Meanwhile, the New Juaben Municipal Director of the EC, Mrs Lydia Sackey has advised political parties contesting this year’s general election to appoint credible and reliable polling agents to represent them at the polling stations.
She explained that, the credibility of the agents enhances the reliability of the overall election results and help to promote peaceful elections.
Mrs Sackey said polling agents who are influenced with money to compromise their position does not promote free, fair and transparent elections.
She therefore urged political parties to scrutinise their polling agents very well before appointing them since their activities could contribute to their victory or defeat at the elections.
Mrs Sackey, who was speaking at the Eastern Regional Inter-party Dialogue meeting at Koforidua over the weekend, said the EC attaches great importance to the work of polling agents because they act as watchdogs of the election process.
She appealed to the political parties and stakeholders to collaborate to make this year’s election incident free.
She said the election would be unique since it is the first time Ghanaians would be using biometric data to vote.
Mrs Sackey said it had become necessary for voters to go through biometric data to vote because the old method of verification did not have built-in mechanism for detecting multiple registrations and voting.
Mr Eric Bortey, Regional Director of the National Commission for Civic Education, urged the parties to give adequate education to their polling agents to make the process peaceful.