Mr. Kofi Arhin ( seated second left) at the roundtable discussion

Mr. Kofi Arhin ( seated second left) at the roundtable discussion

THE COALITION of Domestic Elections Observers (CODEO-Ghana) has warned the Electoral Commission (EC) to avoid complacency in its preparations towards the November 7 polls.

That, CODEO believes, was necessary to ensure the conduct of a successful election this year.

National Coordinator of CODEO, Kofi Arhin issued the warning on Wednesday in Accra.

Mr. Arhin was speaking at a roundtable discussion organized by the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) and CODEO to share experiences of the February 18, 2016 Uganda parliamentary and presidential elections and the lessons Ghana could pick from that to prepare for the general elections.

According to Mr. Arhin, the stakes in the 2016 polls are very high and EC needs to take a cue from the Ugandan elections to ensure a free, fair and credible election, saying that with barely eight months to go, there are a lot of question marks with most of the measures the EC is expected to put in place for the conduct of the elections.

He stated that even though the general atmosphere of the elections in Uganda was not friendly enough for many voters, some measures put in place by that country’s electoral body were exemplary and needed to be replicated in Ghana.

For instance, he recommended that the EC introduces the “Voter Location Slip” system which he said was an innovative measure used by the Electoral Commission of Uganda to aid voters to locate their polling stations.

Also, he urged that the EC adopts the affirmative system of Uganda which allows certain number of parliamentary seats to be reserved for vulnerable groups including the disabled, women and others.

With low public confidence in the electoral commissions of both Uganda and Ghana, Mr. Arhin indicated that the EC needs to communicate to Ghanaians as to whether it will adhere to the request of the Justice Crabbe committee for the validation of the nation’s electoral roll.

Since the proposal was made by the committee in 2015, the EC has been silent as to whether it will validate the register.

He disclosed that Uganda was successful in cleansing one million voters from its register ahead of its third elections since its return to multiparty democracy in 2006.

Mr. Arhin complained about the limited time available to the EC to prepare for the polls, stating that while Uganda’s Electoral Commission started preparations 36 months ahead of that country’s elections the EC has only eight months to prepare for the polls.

Election Time-Table Out
Meanwhile, a comprehensive time-table for the conduct of the 2016 elections has been released by the Electoral Commission.

Director of Elections at EC, Samuel Tettey who released it to the media at the roundtable discussion, said the time-table will be distributed to the various political parties to aid their preparations for the elections.

BY Melvin Tarlue
[email protected]

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