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Fri, Dec

Political parties abandon exhibition centres

Political parties have shown virtually no interest in the exhibition of the voters register which is scheduled to end on August 7, this year.

This is a far departure from the gusto and enthusiasm which they exhibited during the recent registration of new voters.

 Of the 16 exhibition centres the Daily Graphic visited in six constituencies in the Accra metropolis and the Ga West municipality yesterday, only one centre had a party agent.

The EC’s verification and exhibition officials at the various centres told the Daily Graphic that the parties had shown little interest in the exhibition, as only a few party agents came in the first week of the exhibition to monitor the exercise which is expected to clean the register.

“No party agent has been here yet. It looks like their interest is mainly in the registration exercise, not the exhibition,” an EC official said on condition of anonymity.

Parties respond

But officials of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the People’s National Convention (PNC) and the Convention People’s Party (CPP) told the Daily Graphic that they had decided not to station agents at the centres but rather tasked their constituency executives to monitor the exhibition.

Centres  visited

It was only at the Achimota Preparatory School Exhibition Centre that an NPP agent was present to monitor the exercise which has been plagued with very low turnout.

There was no political party representative at the Alogboshie Basic School, New Achimota Presbyterian Church, New Achimota Presbyterian School, Mile 7 Police Station centres at Achimota; the Alajo Basic School centre; the Kotobabi Cluster of Schools centre; the Ayebeng Basic School and Evangelical Church of Ghana centres at Mamobi; the St Kizito Roman Catholic School, Dunia Cinema and Nima Cluster of Schools centres at Nima, and the Nayak, A1 and Roxy Cinema centres, all at Adabraka.

The Daily Graphic’s visit to the Okaikoi North, Trobu, Ayawaso Central, Ayawaso East, Ayawaso North and Klottey Korle constituencies showed very low patronage of the exhibition exercise.

NDC

But a Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, Mr George Lawson, told the Daily Graphic that although the party had no  agents stationed at the various exhibition centres, “we have constituency executives on the ground moving from exhibition centre to exhibition centre monitoring the exercise”.

“The fact that we are not at those centres does not mean that we are not interested in the exhibition. We are monitoring it all over,” he explained. 

NPP

The acting General Secretary of the NPP, Mr John Boadu, made a similar observation.

He said the party’s polling station executives had been asked to alternate in monitoring the exercise.

“It is just about people coming to check their names and leave. Unlike the registration where you have specific people you want to challenge, this is different,” he said.

PNC

That position is not different from that of the Communications Director of the PNC, Mr Emmanuel Wilson, who said: “Registration time is the period when parties are alert to prevent minors, aliens and other unqualified people from getting on the register.”

He, however, said the party had tasked all its regional executives to supervise the constituency executives to be on the ground to monitor the exercise, adding that he was receiving daily updates from the regions.

CPP

Mr Salasi Kofi Ackom, a special aide to the National Chairman of the CPP, Prof. Edmund Delle, said Dr Delle had charged the Communications Director of the party to communicate with all regional chairmen and secretaries to delegate people to monitor the exercise and the party was receiving updates.

All the party officials agreed that turnout at the centres was low.

The numbers 

According to EC statistics, 4,173,959 voters had been verified as of July 29, 2016. 

The exercise, which started on July 18, is expected to end on August 7, 2016.  

More than 14 million voters are on the country’s electoral roll. 

The exhibition is going on at 29,000  centres.

Meanwhile, at the Achimota Preparatory Exhibition Centre in the Okaikoi North Constituency where 1,634 voters were expected to be verified at three polling stations, only 465 had done so as of 9.30 a.m. yesterday.

The Exhibition Officer, Ms Judith Doh, said turnout had been very discouraging, adding that on Monday not a single person went to the centre to be verified.

 At the Alogboshie Basic School centre in the same constituency, there are 1,588 voters on the register but only 435 had checked their names.

In the Trobu Constituency, 445 had checked their names out of the 1,316 expected to vote at the New Achimota Presbyterian Church centre, while 100 voters had verified their names at the New Achimota Presbyterian Basic School centre.

At the Mile 7 centre in the same constituency, 1,079 voters are on the two registers but only 459 had verified their names. 

In the Ayawaso Central Constituency, 500 people had verified their names at the Alajo 1 and 2 Basic School centres, out of the 1,273 names on the voters roll of two polling stations.

 At the Kotobabi Cluster of Schools in the same constituency, there are seven polling stations with 4,437 voters on the register, but only 1,515 people had checked their names.

At the Ayebeng Basic School centre at Mamobi in the Ayawaso North Constituency, 268 voters were expected to be verified but only 174 had done so.

At the Evangelical Church of Ghana centre at Mamobi where there are two polling stations, 416 out of the expected 1,344 voters had been verified.

The low turnout was not different in the Ayawaso East Constituency where, at the Dunia Cinema centre, 181 out of the 731 voters came to check their names. 

The two polling stations at the St Kizito Catholic Church centre had verified 629 voters out of the 1,775 on the two registers.

A stone’s throw away at the Nima Cluster of Schools centre in the same constituency, 353 voters had confirmed their names on the register, out of the expected 999.

In the Klottey Korle Constituency, 236 people had checked their names at the Nayak centre, out of the 586 on the register, while at the A1 centre, 229 voters out of 644 had done so, with 187 people verified out of the 273 on the register at the Roxy Cinema centre.