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‘One day, three elections’ – EC set for historic December 17 vote

For the first time in the history of Ghana, the Electoral Commission (EC) will conduct three elections consisting of District Assembly Members, Unit Committee Members and a Referendum on Sunday, December 17.

Across the polling stations nationwide, there will be three ballot boxes and screens and each voter will be given three different ballot papers separately.

The elections of the District Assembly Members and the Unit Committee Members form the critical core of the country’s decentralisation process by way of helping to exercise political and administrative authority in the district, provide guidance, give direction to, and supervise the other administrative authorities in the district.

The Referendum, which is also seeking the amendments to Articles 243(1) and 55(3) for the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives and the introduction of political party participation in the local elections have been presented to Parliament to be passed.

Dr Serebour Quaicoe, the Director of Electoral Services at the EC, speaking in an interview explained that each electorate on the day would be required to vote on the three themes separately.

He stated that the process would take the form of the regular general presidential and parliamentary elections, however, the difference with this ‘trio’ election, would be the addition of an additional ballot box.

“An electorate will first receive one ballot paper to vote for a candidate of choice for the Unit Committee and go for a second ballot to vote for the candidate of choice for the District Assembly and same for the referendum.

This means a voter will thumbprint on each separately and deposit each in its respective box,” he clarified.

Dr Quaicoe stated that to help voters to understand the process, the EC was collaborating with the National Commission for Civic

Education and the media to educate the public on the pending elections.

He said as part of activities, the EC would undertake stakeholder engagement with groups including; Persons with Disability, Chiefs and Opinion Leaders to educate them.

Having finished with the limited registration and voter exhibition, he said, the EC was preparing for the nomination exercise; expected to be followed by platform mounting for the qualified candidates, transfer of votes and the elections.

Asked if the EC had ample time to conduct elections, Dr Quaicoe said although there were some 14-days delay due to a court case, the Commission would be ready to deliver a peaceful, fair and credible election.

He noted that the Commission took cues from the recent electoral activities and was working tirelessly on improving its monitoring mechanism and ensure that temporal staff worked effectively to achieve their aims.

Touching on supplying the voter register to a political party, Dr Quaicoe said no political party was given the voter register as speculated.

“It is a voluminous document and it takes time to put together these document. We are doing it currently and by close of this week we will finish compiling and hand it over to the political parties,” he said.

source:Ghanaweb.com

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