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EC to compile new voter register last week in June

The compilation of a new voter register will begin in the last week of June and end in the last week of July, the Electoral Commission (EC) has confirmed, ahead of the announcement of the precise dates.

However, the over 33,000 registration centres would be divided into clusters with strict adherence to COVID-19 hygienic protocols to ensure swift and safe exercise.

Deputy Commissioner of the EC, Dr Bossman Asare disclosed these to the Ghanaian Times in an interview after yesterday’s Inter-party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting convened by the commission in Accra.

The meeting, held in two batches; one in the morning and the other in the afternoon, amidst heavy security presence, was to update the political parties and other stakeholders on the upcoming registration.

The registration exercise, which has been opposed by some political parties and civil society organisations including the National Democratic Congress (NDC), was initially scheduled for April but was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Explaining the cluster system, Dr Bossman, said the registration centres across the country would be grouped into clusters of five to enable the commission compile the names in five phases.

“This time, what we are saying is that five registration centres will constitute one cluster. What that means is that we are going to have five phases in the registration because the clusters will be five.

“In the first phase, we are going to begin from all the registration centres that are numbered one on the cluster then to the next phase and cluster,” he said.

According to Dr Bossman , in due course, details and further explanation would be communicated to the public and assured eligible voters to exercise patience when the registration begins as they would all be attended to.

On safety measures, Dr Bossman, said social distancing would be observed with not more than 25 people at a time, nose masks would be mandatory, temperatures would be checked, hand hygiene materials would be provided.

“Whatever must be done, whatever is necessary to be done to ensure that the compilation is done in a safe and sure environment is being done. We are liaising with the health authorities to ensure safety,” he said.

Aside Ghana Card and passports that would be accepted as proof of nationality, the deputy commissioner said, two persons who are able to register with either of the documents, could vouch for an eligible voter who had neither of them.

That notwithstanding, he urged Ghanaians who do not have the two documents to get them.

Present at the meeting were representatives of parties including New Patriotic Party (NPP), Ghana Freedom Party (GFP), United Progressive Party (UPP) and Convention People’s Party (CPP).

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) stood by its earlier decision to boycott the meeting.

General Sectary of the NPP and Jacob Osei Yeboah, an independent presidential candidate, in separate interviews with the Ghanaian Times, after the meeting, welcomed the arrangement EC had put in place and pledged their cooperation.

BY JONATHAN DONKOR

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