Accra, March 25, GNA Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), on Tuesday said the Commission would soon commence daily registration of new eligible voters.
This, he said, would be in accordance with the requirements under the new election regulation C.I. 72 of the Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Regulations of the 1992 Constitution.
He said this would help to secure Ghanas young democracy and maintain the current peace that currently existed for good governance and enhanced national development; and called for the support of all stakeholders in improving the electoral process.
Dr Afari-Gyan, who was addressing stakeholders at a consultative forum in Accra, said the Commission had taken a decision to broaden its consultation base beyond the Inter-Party Advisory Committee programmes in order to solicit for wider views on how to improve upon the voter registration processes, especially with the introduction of the biometric voter registration system.
He said the new regulation, which would now form the basis for future voter registrations, requires that unlike the C.I 12, an eligible voter to produce a proof eligibility which may include a Ghanaian Passport, National Identity Card, National Health Insurance card or an old voters identity, at the point of registration.
He said although the new regulation made provision for registrants who could not produce any of the required identity cards to complete a guarantee form which must be endorsed by two credible registered voters, these guarantors cannot endorse for more than five registrants.
Dr Afari-Gyan said it was anticipated that other aspects of the new regulation under the verification of biometric data may create problems for people who faced identification problems, and that this may result in dis-enfranchising of some eligible voters.
However, he said, the regulations also require the EC to maintain continued registration of recent eligible voters and further ensure regular cleaning of the Voters Register.
He said the Commission would abide by the regulation and continue with the registration process as the election petition suit was over.
The EC Chairman said the Commission was now doing a day to day registration for new eligible voters in its offices, however, the law required that the period between ones registration and voting must exceed 60 days to make the registration valid to qualify a registered voter to cast a ballot.
He said the EC was working on concerns about the training of recruited Data Entry clerks, secure enough funding for its operations and put in place strategic planning to handle all technical challenges inherent in the last elections.
The forum brought together stakeholders including representatives of all the Political Parties, the Christian Council of Ghana, the Institute for Democratic Governance, the Ghana National Association of Teachers, Ghana Education Service, and the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers among others, to brainstorm on how to improve upon the electoral process.
Some participants commented on the limited time that was given for public education on the new C.I 72, leading to agitations among sections of the public including the media regarding the application for special voting.
Others also called on the Judiciary to clearly interpret the issues on Voter requirement of residence, to prevent future confrontations among the public.
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