EC jettisons �strong room� concept in 2016 elections

Mrs Charlotte Osei, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) has indicated that the commission would abolish the �strong room� principle in the next year�s general election and rather introduce a more transparent and inclusive process. The commissioner said a bigger room would be secured for receiving and certification of constituency results in a greater transparent process where cameras and screens would be mounted and a lot more people allowed to patronise the chamber. Mrs Charlotte stated this at the closing session of the two-day forum that discussed the voters register after more than 30 petitions were received by the EC calling for a new or an audit roll devoid of names of minors, foreigners and cleansing of multiple registrations. �A more transparent process will be introduced, what we are going to have is a bigger room that we will have cameras and more inclusiveness of the electorate,� she said in response to a question requesting the EC�s position on the concept. The move was hailed by many individuals and organisations as a landmark in Ghana�s electoral system seeking to introduce a robust process to enhance transparency and openness. An allegation raised by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) that the voters register is over bloated and stuffed with names of foreigners and minors generated public debate, prompting the Commission to ask for submission of petitions for investigation. Mr Kwabena Agyapong NPP�s General Secretary said the forum has answered most the party�s concerns. �Today is the day the EC has given us something remotely close to our response, almost giving response to our petition, we are happy at least today we have some responses. �The EC�s response to a lot of the things we said means that we were firmly grounded,� he added.