‘Parties Must Support EC, Not Undermine It’

Political parties and other stakeholders have been advised to cooperate with the Electoral Commission (EC) to enable it to execute its mandate of ensuring fair and transparent elections in December.

The Deputy Eastern Regional Director of the EC, Mr John Appiah Baffoe, said actors in the election “must rather support the process and not undermine it through violence, intimidation or any other unlawful means”.

Contributing as one of the speakers at a town hall meeting in Koforidua organised by the Graphic Communications Group Ltd (GCGL), Mr Baffoe said the EC had put in place measures to ensure that the 2016 elections were managed effectively and efficiently in a free and fair manner.

No steps without consultation

He explained that the EC had not taken any step towards the election without consulting the various stakeholders, for which reason “all participants must behave in a way that promotes a free and fair process”.

“To ensure inclusiveness in the process and build the confidence and trust of political parties, the commission holds regular Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meetings at both regional and constituency levels to provide detailed procedural information on its work,” he said.

Free and fair elections, he said, depended on multiplicity of actors, including electoral management body, the political parties, law enforcement agencies, the media, the government, the Judiciary and the electorate who equally had to play their roles effectively for the desired peaceful elections.

Returning officers recruitment

The EC, he announced, would recruit returning officers for the conduct of the elections, explaining that pictures of the recruits would be published by the commission 10 days to the elections to provide the political parties and the public the opportunity to assess them to aid the selection of “politically neutral and credible officers”.

To avoid a situation, as was heard during the election petition, where names of unknown polling stations popped up, Mr Baffoe disclosed that the EC would publish all designated polling stations on its websites and give copies to the parties 60 days before the elections.

Source: Daily Graphicec-2
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