The Editor of the Insight newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr has expressed displeasure about the execution of the ongoing biometric voter’s registration exercise.
The Electoral Commission is compiling a new electoral register to be used during the December 2012 polls and the exercise is slated for March 24 to May 5.
Speaking in an interview with Nana Jantuah on Focus fm, a Kumasi based radio station on Wednesday March 29, the renowned journalist said he finds it worrying that new biometric machines could break down on the first day of the registration exercise. According to him, the registration exercise will take place within forty days so the machines could be repaired in time but the elections will be conducted within twelve hours and doubts how the elections will be successful if the situation recurs.
“These are brand new machines breaking down on the first day; we are going to use the same machines eight months from now when they will be much older; what is going to happen then if we are to use them in the next elections?”
Mr. Pratt also noted that vigilance on the part of political parties is very low as there are no agents at the polling stations to police the registration process, adding that, “it must be worrying because Dr. Afari Gyan has said that the electoral commission is not in a position to guarantee all by itself a free and fair election and that it is only the vigilance of the political parties and the general population which can guarantee that. It is not possible to vouch for the integrity of the over 40,000 people who will be employed for this programme so you should expect a certain level of vigilance from the political parties and I don’t see that,” he lamented.
The senior journalist blamed the electoral commission for ineffective communication of the schedules for the registration exercise, a situation which has made it impossible for him to register. According to him, information should be provided at all polling stations about the period allocated for the exercise to be conducted at those stations.
He also thinks the commission should have employed people who can type faster as the current officials cannot type fast enough thereby slowing the whole process.
David Apinga, Focus fm, KNUST, Kumasi