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Friday, August 21, 2009

Asiedu Nketia: Punish electoral fraud harder

NDC General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia
NDC General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia

The General Secretary of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), is asking for a stronger action against persons who perpetrate electoral violence.

Johnson Asiedu Nketia said violence during elections would be minimized only if the endeavour is made a riskier one that harshly punishes those who engage in it.

Mr Asiedu Nketia was speaking in a panel discussion on Joy FM’s flagship programme the Super Morning Showon Wednesday.

The panel discussed a wide-range of issues bordering on elections in Ghana with a focus on Tuesday’s elections at Akwatia.

The NDC scribe stressed that a lot could have been done to avert the violence that characterised the parliamentary election re-run in the constituency.

There were violent clashes between supporters of the ruling NDC and those of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), on Sunday, leading to the destruction of property.

Mr Asiedu Nketia believes critical to stalling tendencies for people to disrupt balloting is the need to scale up public education as well as training for security persons and polling agents.

He raised issues of poor collaboration between electoral officers and security officers dispatched to polling centres to forestall violence.

“Electoral Commission does its training, political parties also do their training for their polling agents.

“Is it not possible that when you take one region, and you say that all the managers of the polling stations should come together and be taught the same rules so that it doesn’t happen that when you are in the middle of the voting, one person says this is my understanding of the rules then the other person will give a different interpretation?” he asked.

He cites a typical incident at Akwatia where a policeman was called to declare the result of a polling station whilst the presiding officers looked on.

“That is wrong,” he emphasised.

NPP Member of Parliament for Okere, Dan Botwe took issue with the situation where the National Organiser of the ruling party, as Regional Minister, was the head of the Regional Security Council (REGSEC).

He said such a situation stokes mistrust in security and leads to repulsive reactions from supporters.

Story by Fiifi Koomson/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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