Wednesday, 15 August 2012
Ghana: Electoral register ready for inspection on 1 September
Chairman of the electoral commission, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, has announced that updated biometric voters' register will be available for public display – and electronically – for voters and the political parties to check. It will be the first time that Ghana has made the electoral roll available with more than four months to go before the national elections on 7 December. All the 23,000 centres where prospective voters were registered during the registration period will be opened for anyone to cross-check their data, make corrections, and also ensure that their names are in the voter roll.
Huge hopes are pinned on the credibility of the new bio-metric system as a means of countering electoral fraud. Combined with the new census, which has cut significantly the number of people in the central Ashanti region which is a stronghold of the opposition NPP, the biometric register should introduce more accountability into the electoral process.
Afari-Gyan has unsurprisingly, however, come under increasing attack from opposition parties and civic society groups for acquiescing to the ruling NDC's proposals to create 45 new constituencies. This will only increase the number of parliamentary seats to 275 which is regarded by many Ghanaians as an intolerable burden on the public purse. Ghana's parliament and its MPs are widely derided as lazy and corrupt and have won little public respect during the multi-party era.
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© 2012 Menas Associates