The Coalition for Free, Fair and Transparent Elections (COFFTRE), is calling on the Electoral Commission (EC) to immediately publish the names of registered voters recently held across the country from National to the polling station levels before the District Level Elections are conducted in March, 2015.

afari djan
Dr. Afari Djan

According to COFFTRE the move will enable political parties and interested parties and organizations to cross-check and update their figures.

In a press release, signed by Kenneth Agyei Kuranchie, National President, COFFTRE, he indicated that a report of the special budget committee of Parliament on the 2014 budget estimates of the Electoral Commission, the EC intends to re-demarcate electoral areas and unit committee boundaries, adding that the EC has decided to peg the maximum number of voters to 800 per polling station.

However, COFFTRE mentioned that there would be about 35,000 polling stations opened for the District Level Elections in 2015 as compared with the existing 26,002 polling stations used for the 2012 general elections.

“It would be recalled that during the 2010 District Elections, some Electoral Areas were deliberately created just after the elections, leaving some electoral areas void. This also made room for some people to go unopposed as Assembly Members. This action by the EC created problems in some polling stations, including some unknown polling stations which were sent to courtby the Flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party just after the 2012 general elections.”

Making some suggestions, COFFTRE said, there was the need for the EC to avoid the past experiences and hence be able to tell whether it is ready to conduct the District Level Elections in March 2015 in all the 35,000 polling stations or would itstill maintain the 26,002 polling stations.

“If the above question is yes, why has the EC failed to re-demarcation the existing 26,002 polling stations before scheduling a date for the nomination forms to be taken on the 20th December, 2014?
In fact, the coalition has doubt as to the readiness of the EC to conduct a credible District Assemblyand Unit Committee Elections in March 2015, because the 2014 outlook by the EC cited in the committee report which include the purchase of 70,000 Biometric Verification Devices (BVDs) has not been fulfilled, coupled with the recent report that the EC is cash-strapped.”

It also said, any attempt by the EC to use its current challenges as a yardstick to create a mess, by introducing new electoral areas surreptitiously after the District Assembly Elections would be challenged in court. If the EC believes in transparency, the re-demarcation must be done immediately for the new electoral areas and polling station names published.




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