Accra Nana K. Aborampah Mensah, the Programmes Coordinator at the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), on Thursday charged the Electoral Commission (EC) to address the challenges associated with the ongoing Voters’ Registration Exercise.
He said per the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) Registration Observers Report, the ongoing registration exercise had been described as generally peaceful but not without teething challenges.
Nana Aborampah Mensah who was speaking at the Ghana Speaks Virtual Public Forum held in Accra, enumerated some of the challenges as shortages of registration materials, breakdown of Biometric Verification Machines, poor security arrangement, and late arrival of registration officials.
He said some of Centers are also characterized with unfriendly environment for persons with disability, pregnant women, and the aged, and in some instances party agents physically attack or challenge suspected foreigners or ineligible voters.
The forum which was organized by the Centre for Social Democracy in partnership with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung-Ghana, was on the theme: “Election 2020: Protecting Citizens’ Right To Vote”.
He was confident that many more people would be encouraged to register and vote in the upcoming elections if those few challenges are addressed.
Nana Aborampah Mensah said on the measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 during the registration, the report indicated that over 91 per cent of the registration centres had put in place appropriate measures for the observation of the protocols.
“But enforcement of the protocols such as social distancing and sanitization of the Biometric Verification Machine after taking of every individual finger print were not in place,” he said.
He said the EC has the greatest opportunity to use the ongoing registration exercise to win back the trust and confidence of all the political parties and other stakeholders ‘the CSOs’ that had expressed doubts about its neutrality and fairness in the run up to the exercise.
Nana Oye Lithur, Legal Practitioner and former Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection called for maximum protection and friendly environment for PWDs, the aged and pregnant women at the centres.
She also called on the EC to ensure full disclosure of data on the number of women, PWDs, the aged and other vulnerable groups to enhance the credibility of the exercise.
Present at the forum was Mr. Justice Srem Sai, a Legal Practitioner and Law Lecturer at Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration.
Source: Ghana News Agency