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EC makes U-turn on decision to ban political parties at voter transfer centres

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The Electoral Commission (EC) has reversed its earlier decision to prevent political party agents from observing the ongoing Vote transfer exercise.

The EC in a memo to its district officers on June 2, directed that agents of political parties must not be allowed access due to violent clashes at some of the transfer centres.

However, some stakeholders disagreed with this directive with the NDC describing it as unlawful.

Following further deliberations, the commission made a U-turn to its original decision to open the vote transfer process to the political parties.

Deputy Commissioner in Charge of Operations, Samuel Tettey in addressing the press on June 4, urged the political parties to educate their agents on the rules and operations of the commission before assigning them to the various transfer centres.

“The transfer of vote exercise is governed by Regulations 22 of the Public Elections Regulation 2020 CI 127. Regulation 22 does not provide political party agents or any other observers with the right to prevent anybody who applies to transfer their votes under the law. The commission would like to repeat that political parties do not have the right under the law to prevent a voter who wants to transfer his or her vote under Regulations 22, CI 127.

“The political parties are well aware that one can object to a voter’s eligibility on the grounds of residency during the voter registration exercise and not during the transfer of the voting exercise. The commission finds the blatant interference with its processes by the agents of the NPP and the NDC, unacceptable.

“However, following internal discussions and upon concerns of some stakeholders, the commission has decided to revert to its decision at IPAC. The commission directed its agents at the district to allow agents of political parties to observe the transfer of vote exercise effective tomorrow, June 5, 2024.

“We strongly urge the agent’s political parties to abide by the rules and refrain from any form of interference which leads to violence as witnessed over the last few days. We urge the leaders of the political parties to educate their agents on the commission’s laws prior to assigning them duties as observers of the various electoral activities. The commission will not hesitate to request the withdrawal of agents who disrupt the transfers,” he stated.

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