Monday, 17 June

Vote Transfer exercise: Barring political party agents from observing process creates widespread suspicion – CARE-GHANA

General News
CARE-GHANA, therefore, urgently called on the EC to immediately reinstate party agent access to participate in the voter transfer and ID replacement process

Civil society organisation CARE for Free and Fair Elections Ghana (CARE-GHANA) has said the directive by the Electoral Commission (EC) and the complicit actions of the Ghana Police Service to prevent party agents from observing the ongoing voter transfer and replacement of voter ID cards amounts to “preventing transparency in the electoral process.”

The organisation asserts that “barring political party agents and independent observers from critical electoral processes calls into question the EC’s commitment to ensuring a transparent and inclusive electoral process.”

Reacting to the EC’s announcement that political parties will no longer be allowed to observe the Transfer of Votes Exercise in a statement issued on Monday, 3 June 2024, CARE-GHANA noted the decision by the Commission, “combined with the police’s unprofessional conduct creates widespread suspicion and doubt among the public.”

It emphasised that this action “further erodes the confidence of Ghanaians in the institutions tasked with upholding their democratic rights,” while indicating that the Commission’s failure to engage political parties in this decision and the “police's enforcement of this exclusion demonstrate a troubling disregard for collaborative governance and inclusive policymaking.”

CARE-GHANA, therefore, urgently called on the EC to immediately “reinstate party agent access to participate in the voter transfer and ID replacement process, ensuring transparency and accountability.”

It also urged the police to respect the “rights of political party agents and refrain from any actions that impede the democratic process.”

Effective yesterday, Monday, 3 June 2024, political party agents were no longer be allowed to observe the Transfer of Votes Exercise currently being undertaken by the Electoral Commission (EC).

This came on the back of “violent clashes” occurring at some of the EC’s District offices as a result of the Transfer of Votes.

In a Memo from the EC’s Deputy Chairman, operations, the Commission said: “Regional Directors are to inform District officers not to allow Agents of Political Parties to observe the Transfer of Votes Exercise with effect from tomorrow, Monday, 3rd of June 2024.”

However, reacting to the EC’s announcement the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), described as outrageous the directive from the Commission to its Regional Directors to disallow agents of political parties from observing the ongoing voter transfer exercise.

According to the NDC, this is a “calculated attempt to aid gerrymandering through illegal voter transfers.”

It, however, emphasised that: “Returning officers are required to give copies of the transferred voters list to political parties and candidates upon request,” pursuant to Regulation 22(8) of C.I. 127.

In the NDC’s view, an insistence on this directive by the Electoral Commission can only be in furtherance of the suspected “devious and sinister agenda of the Commission to manipulate the processes leading to the 2024 elections.”

The NDC is, therefore, called on all its agents across the country to defy and disregard “this outrageous directive by the Electoral Commission.”

But the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) says it will not distribute agents to observe the process anymore in accordance with the EC’s directive.

Source: classfmonline.com/Elikem Adiku