The Electoral Commission says its requests to the New Patriotic Party to provide the Commission with some electoral documents relied on to make claims of irregularities in the voters’ register, is no way an attempt to frustrate the party.
The Commission in a letter dated October 19 and addressed to the NPP requested for the copy of the Togolese voters’ register based on which the party made its analysis to unravel some 76,000 names it claimed are also in Ghana’s voters’ register.
It also requested for a copy of the register for the Chikakokpe polling station in Ketu South of the Volta Region which the party claims has been tampered with.
Speaking at the just ended EC forum on the voters’ register Friday afternoon, General Secretary of the NPP, Kwabena Agyei Agyepong said the EC is in a better position to get those documents being demanded.
“The letter we received from the EC last Thursday just ask us to provide for you the Togolese register which I found a bit of interesting request,” he said, noting that the EC has relations with Togo’s electoral body hence should be easy for it to get the said document from them.
On the register for the Chikakope polling station, he said:”You have legal custody of all the register so that should be a request that you can satisfy yourself; it’s there.”
Request for electoral documents legitimate
But responding to the comments by Mr. Agyepong, Chairperson of the Commission, Mrs. Charlotte Osei said the EC’s request was legitimate and that it seeks to ensure that the two bodies are on the same page when the Commission is doing its analysis of the claims by the party.
“So it is not an attempt to frustrate the NPP, it is actually an attempt to make sure that when we are doing the analysis, we are both working from the same document. When the EC gives you registers, it is dated, so we just need to know what copy you’re [NPP] working from,” Mrs. Osei pointed out.
Although she admitted the EC has relation with the Togolese electoral body, it was critical to note that time is of the essence as it would take some time for the EC to apply for the said document, adding that in any case, “it still doesn’t give me the right to insist that the Togolese will supply me with the register”.
“Since you [NPP] already have it and we know it is trite learning in law that he who alleges must prove, if you allege that you have done some analysis on a register and just from 10 percent analysis, you found 76,000 names, we think it is important that you share the source document with us,” she said.
“If we need to really compare what you are saying and do a proper analysis, we need to know exactly which copy of the register so we can also retrieve that copy at that date and do the same analysis,” she added.
The Commissioner thus urged the party to provide the commission with those electoral documents including an update on the party’s analysis on the Ivorian and Burkinabe voters’ register so that Commission can also its analysis.
EC to reply NPP
Meanwhile, the Commission says it will officially write to the NPP to respond to all the allegations and claims made in the proposal calling for a new voters’ register in the country.
Mrs. Osei said its presentation at the forum Friday was to try to bring some clarity to the issues raised thus far because of the anxiety that was created on Thursday to the effect that the EC had not given response to the issues raised in the proposals by the party.
“I know Mr. Agyepong knows that I will be writing him a very long response to all the allegations and claims made. We thought it was important to, at least, show them that we’ve documented and worked on it[the proposal],” she assured the party.
NPP happy with EC response
The party says it was happy with the response given by the EC when it mounted the podium to address the issues raised by the NPP regarding the need for a new voters’ register for the country ahead of the 2016 general elections.
“Today is the first day that the Electoral Commission has given us anything remotely close to a response, at least, we are happy they admitted quite a number of things we said to them, attributing it to human error, adjudication error, but at least, it confirms that the proposals made to them were well-grounded,” Mr. Agyepong said
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana