The Electoral Commission has begun registering potential first time voters in a 10-day limited registration exercise across the nation from today, Thursday, April 28.
At least 3,000 registration centers are expected to be mounted for the exercise, which is scheduled to end on Sunday, May 8.
It is the first exercise of the Electoral Commission of Ghana as regards preparations towards the 2016 elections.
Chair of the Commission Charlotte Osei has already assured of the EC’s preparations for the exercise.
The 25 registered political parties are expected to be represented at each center by their agents.
Poor education, wrong timing
Some Ghanaians have expressed concerns about the low level of sensitization in heralding the exercise.
Others think the EC appears to have a misplaced priority after it launched a five-year strategic plan including the launch of a new logo two days prior to the registration exercise.
Head of the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana Dr Bossman Asare in an interview on TV3’s News 360 on Wednesday, April 27 said “not a lot of public education has gone into it”.
He said most of the targeted Ghanaians – those who recently turned 18 – are currently in schools, questioning the timing of the exercise.
“We know a number of the students are writing the WASSCE and most of them should be 18 and above and we know that the system should be very fair for them to take part in the process.”
Speaking on TV3’s News@10 on Wednesday, National Organiser of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Kofi Adams expressed confidence in the EC ahead of the exercise.
Mr Adams said the ruling party has already deployed agents to all registration centers, charging each of them to be bold to challenge any persons suspected to be less than 18 years.
“I hear there are some people who are bringing fake birth certificates and the rest to justify their ages. We are checking very well on that and crosschecking with serial numbers of all those information to make sure that those who are not qualified to register will not find their names in the register.
“We are more than ready for the exercise.”
NPP not satisfied
On behalf of his party, Director of Elections for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Martin Adjei Mensah Korsah said the NPP has put in place measures to “properly” accocunt for “whatever” registration that comes in daily.
“We are going to seriously guard this process,” he stressed.
He, however, expressed disappointment in the Commission’s preparedness in terms of sensitization towards the exercise.
“Yesterday, today all media attention has been on a certain logo and a certain strategic plan when you are planning to bring about 1.2 million new voters on your register. Such an important exercise.”
PNC taking exercise seriously
The People’s National Convention (PNC) says the exercise is such an important process not only for its new members but also for Ghanaians.
It says its flagbearer’s campaign has targetted potential first-time voters, tagging them the ‘New Force’.
“The future of Ghana lies on the shoulder of these young people,” said Atik Mohammed, the General Secretary of the party.
He said the PNC will deploy agents to all registration centers for the exercise.
By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana