EC Replies Prez Kufuor
EC Replies Prez Kufuor Website
The Electoral Commission (EC) has described President Kufuor's call for credible elections in December as appropriate and timely and promised to live up to the challenge. The Director of Elections at the EC, Mr Albert. Kofi Arhin, said the commission, as a human institution, could make mistakes and that was why the President's call was a wake-up one for political stakeholders to work with it to ensure that the country attained free, fair and credible elections whose results would be acceptable to all. Mr Arhin is currently leading a team of EC officials in Koforidua to train agents of the commission for the forthcoming replacement of defaced, destroyed and lost voter identity cards which will be carried out from March 14 to 23. He was reacting to the President's call in a telephone interview with the Daily Graphic. President Kufuor made the call in his anniversary speech at Thursday's parade to mark 51 years of Ghana's independence. In the speech, the President reiterated his desire to hand over a united and peaceful country to his successor and, therefore, charged the EC to conduct the December 2008 elections in a credible manner so that the outcome would be acceptable to all contesting parties and the electorate. There had been an earlier controversy generated over the voter registration figures in 13 of the constituencies in the Ashanti Region which were said to have increased by over 110 percent between 2004 and 2006. The EC refuted those figures, announced a probe into their source and distributed what it described as the "authentic" figures in the disputed constituencies to all the political parties for their perusal. According to Mr Arhin, the EC had, since 1992, conducted credible elections and had been improving over successive elections and gave the assurance that the commission would live up to that reputation of delivering credible, transparent, free and fair elections in December. He appealed to the political parties to see themselves as partners of the commission "who are in the trenches together" and not as enemies. Mr Arhin said that partnership required that political parties who had problems concerning any of the processes of the elections must not hesitate to consult the EC for clarification and correction, not create tension. He noted that when political parties went public on such issues, it tended to create credibility problems in the minds of the electorate and other stakeholders. Mr Arhin said the agents who were being trained for the 5,000 electoral areas would be more than 5,000 because some polling stations were bigger and would require more than one person. On the replacement of voter ID cards, Mr Arhin said over 5,000 agents were currently being given a one-week training on how to undertake the exercise at the 5,000 electoral areas. He said the agents were being trained on how to question those who had lost their ID cards, how to answer questionnaire, among others. Mr Arhin explained that the replacement exercise was intended to ensure that all those whose voter ID cards were missing, defaced or destroyed got new ones to prevent them from registering again when the voters register opened in May this year for those who had now attained the age of 18 to register.