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A group calling itself the Coalition of Progressive Assembly Members (COPAM), a nonpartisan Association of Progressive minded Assembly Members across the country has called on the Electoral Commission (EC) not go ahead with the limited voter registration in its district offices and selected elected areas, rather it should be conducted in all electoral areas as has been the common practice over the years.
It said the current position of the electoral commission would mean that, for eligible citizens residing in remote or rural communities of the country, they would have to travel to and from districts capitals which, in most cases, are located far from rural dwellings.
COPAM says “it is therefore obvious that eligible citizens are going to be subjected to unaccepted long distance travels and extremely inconveniencing situations considering the fact that the exercise is going to be conducted in the raining season.”
Speaking at a news conference in the Accra, Dr. Richard Fiadomor, the Convener of COMPAM said “COMPAM therefore considers this attempted illegal act about to be perpetuated by the EC to be very repressive, supressive of eligible votes and more importantly an affront to local governance practice in this country. The EC by its intended action has proven beyond reasonable doubts that it does not place any serious premium on the upcoming District Level Elections and the referendum on the elections of MMDCEs on partisan basis.”
Dr Fiadomor stated that is a known and an incontrovertible fact that over the years the EC had always conducted voter registration, including limited voter registration exercises at electoral areas in the various constituencies and districts of the country.
This historical practice, he adds, has now been grounded in law in the form of the Public Elections [Registration of Voters] Regulations, 2016 [C.I 91]. Regulation 2 sub-regulation 2[a] and [b] of C.I. 91, the Convener of COMPAM said requires that in “designating a place as a registration centre, the EC must consider the suitability of the place for use as a polling centre on election day and the accessibility of the place to prospective applicants seeking to register”
This, he said, is the most reason why the limited registration exercise should be conducted in all 6,500 electoral areas across the country. The Convener of COMPAM noted that EC does not have any justifiable basis for its decision to conduct the voter registration in 2019 fiscal year using the same approach as it did in 2018 because evidence abound that adequate budgetary resources had been made available to the EC for the conduct of the limited voter registration exercise on electoral areas basis across the country.
Dr Fiadomor said “COPAM is already in touch with its solicitors to possibly consider invoking the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court on this obvious illegality being or about to be perpetuated by the EC. We are also ready and willing to join forces with any progressive minded stakeholders in pursuing this matter to its logical conclusion, in all in our bid to stop the EC from going ahead with this obvious repressive and voter suppressive action to be undertaken from 7th to 27 June, 2019.
Source: Adovor Nutifafa