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EC condemns destruction of biometric machines

Date published: Saturday, 30th April 2016

The Electoral Commission [EC] has condemned what it described as vandalisation of its biometric voters' registration equipment in some parts of the country.

The EC last Thursday began the limited voters' registration exercise in a bid to capture new voters onto its database.

But there are reports of some representatives of political parties deploying thugs to registration centres to cause mayhem.

The EC in a statement signed by its Deputy Chairman in-charge of Operations, Amadu Sulley, said they have “noted with grave concern the vandalisation of their Biometric Voter Registration equipment at a registration centre in the Asokwa sub-metro of the Ashanti region.”

“On Friday 29th April, 2016, the second day of the ongoing limited voter registration exercise, a group of thugs stormed into the Gyenyaase registration centre and smashed the registration kit into pieces.

They also destroyed registration materials and took away used Challenge Forms (containing details of those whose registrations have been challenged),  copies of Form 1C and the hand-held scanner.”

“The Commission strongly condemns such acts of lawlessness perpetrated by individuals whose sole motive is to disrupt the ongoing registration exercise,” the statement added.

The statement further urged the public to use the laid down procedures for addressing grievances or disputes that may arise at the registration centres.

One person arrested According to the Commission, the police in the Ashanti Region has also arrested one person suspected of having deployed thugs to some centres in the ongoing exercise adding that the suspect will assist with investigations.

“We wish to assure the people in the affected area that efforts are ongoing to retrieve their registration data. Meanwhile, the registration process will continue at the Centre as scheduled. We urge our registration officers to remain resolute and not be intimidated by such acts while the security agencies take measures to protect them and the registration materials."

Parties abusing challenge process

The Collation of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), has said some political party agents monitoring the ongoing limited voters’ registration exercise have been abusing the challenge procedure.

CODEO says the instances where party agents abused the challenge procedure on the first day of the exercise, may discourage some prospective voters from partaking in the exercise.

They cited a particular polling station in the Eastern Region that had about 20 registrants challenged by party agents of the National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party.

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