EC Confident Of Building Credible Electoral Process

The Electoral Commission (EC) has said it would create a realistic and trustworthy electoral process for the 2016 elections by implementing the reforms agreed by all parties after the public hearing on the register.

The EC Commissioner, Mrs Charlotte Osei, stated this, on Thursday, at the opening session of the two-day public hearing on the over 30 petitions submitted to the Commission on the voter register, under the supervision of a five-member panel.

“It is our hope that at the end of this forum, the deliberations and exchange of views will provide the tools needed by the electoral commission to take a decision on the matter towards ensuring that our 2016 elections are credible,” she said.

“The Commission will be launching series of activities and implementing reforms agreed with the political parties and Civil Society Organisations of the post 2012 elections,” the Commissioner added.

“These activities and reforms, we are confident, would create a more inclusive, more transparent, efficient and credible electoral process and outcome.”

An allegation raised by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) that the electoral register was over bloated and stuffed with names of foreigners and minors triggered public debate and prompted the Commission to ask for the submission of petitions for investigation.

The Commission thus empanelled five-member eminent personalities to hold a public hearing to discuss the matter, to identify and prescribe solutions to overcome any flaws with the country’s voter register in order to boost public confidence.

The Committee members include a retired Supreme Court judge, Justice Professor V.C.R.A.C. Crabbe, as the Chairman, and the Most Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante, the Chairman of the National Peace Council, as a member.

The rest are Dr Grace Bediako, former Government Statistician; Dr Nii Narku Quaynor; a renowned computer scientist and Maulvi Bin Salih, the Ameer of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission.

Mrs Osei said the Commission had also launched an ‘internal investigation’ into the NPP’s assertion, adding that, “We have made significant progress with our investigations and indeed, we have requested additional documentation from the NPP to enable us conclude investigations.”

She said the Commission would share its findings with NPP in direct response to their three petitions, while the findings and recommendations of the panel would be decided upon by the Commission and communicated to the public.

She added: “The final decision on whether or not we will have a new register, or audit the register, will be taken by the EC in line with and on the authority of our constitutional mandate.”