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EC allows party agents to observe vote transfer

EC allows party agents to observe vote transfer
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The Electoral Commission (EC) has directed its district officers across the country to allow agents of political parties to observe the transfer of votes exercise with effect from today, Wednesday.

According to the Commission, the decision follows internal dis­cussions and in consideration of the concerns of some stakehold­ers at the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) of the EC.

At a press conference in Accra yesterday, the Deputy EC Chair in charge of Operations, Sam­uel Tettey, urged the agents of political parties to abide by the rules and refrain from any form of interference which leads to violence as witnessed over the last few days.

“We urge the leaders of the political parties to educate their agents on the Commission’s laws prior to assigning their duties as observers of the various electoral activities.“The Commission will not hes­itate to request the withdrawal of agents who disrupt the transfer process,” he said.

Mr Tettey explained that “the transfer of votes exercise is governed by Regulation 22 of the Public Elections Regulations 2020-CI-127. Regulation 22 does not provide political party agents or any other observers with a right to prevent voters who apply to transfer their votes under the law.”

He said where political party agents, as observers, had any issue with the transfer of votes of any particular voter, the lawful thing to do is to note the details.

“During the exhibition of the provisional register, the political parties can object to a voter’s name on the voter’s register on the grounds that the applicant is not resident or ordinarily resi­dent in the area where he or she intends to vote,” Mr Tettey said.He condemned what it de­scribed as the blatant interference with this process by the agents of the NPP and NDC as unaccept­able.

He said the Commission’s decision to halt the observation was not to shield its way from scrutiny, neither was it made to promote the interests of a par­ticular political party, and assured the public of its commitment to transparency and fairness.

The Commission had initially allowed political party agents to observe the transfer exercise, which started on Thursday, departing from past practice, to enhance transparency and trust in the process ahead of this year’s elections.

However, there were reports of clashes between agents of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC), who were trying to unlawfully prevent voters from transferring their votes.

In view of the disturbances, the EC on Sunday directed its regional directorates to discontin­ue the observation of the transfer of votes exercise effective next Monday.

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