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EC to hold IPAC meeting on Wednesday to discuss registration matters, others

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The Electoral Commission (EC) has scheduled an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting with the various political parties.

The meeting is slated for Wednesday, March 16, 2022, at the IPAC room of the Commission.

In a letter from the electoral management body, each political party invited is to be represented by two persons only.

Key on the agenda are updates on the Constitutional Instrument on registration of voters, continuous registration, and the inspection of the offices of political parties.

To be discussed also at the meeting are audited reports and returns, publication of the reports of political parties in the newspapers as well as any other business.

In 2021, IPAC, after a two-day review workshop on the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections, reached 16 resolutions aimed at improving subsequent elections.

The recommendations agreed upon by participants of the IPAC review workshop covered areas of voter registration, exhibition, filing of nominations, time for close of polls, and election.

The workshop had representatives from the various political parties except for the representatives of the country’s largest opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), which boycotted the meeting.

THE PARTICIPANTS AT THE MEETING AGREED AS FOLLOWS:

Registration

1. Implement the Continuous Voter Registration Exercise to enable citizens who turned 18 years and those who had not previously registered to do so.

2. Set up a committee to deliberate on the implementation modalities for Continuous Voter Registration.

3. Continuous Voter Registration should be implemented with proof of citizenship being limited to the use of Ghana Card and Ghana Passport since the guarantee system is often abused.

Exhibition

1. Introduce an all-year-round Voter Exhibition Exercise through the use of technology (SMS shortcode). Additionally, maintain the periodic mass verification at Exhibition Centres.

2. Put in place a cut-off time for the Continuous Voter Register Exhibition to allow for the compilation of the Register for voting on Election Day.

Filing of Nominations

1. The Five (5) day period for filing of Nominations introduced in 2020 should be maintained.

2. The period set aside to enable the Political Parties to obtain signatures from their supporters should be increased.

3. The period for the Election Campaign should be defined. It should commence after the nominations are filed.

4. Encourage nominations of female and persons with disabilities (PWDs) candidates by reducing their filing fees by 50%.

Special Voting

1. Current arrangement whereby the Media, Security Services and Election Officials are allowed to apply and vote under the Special Voting period should be maintained until such time that the process is fully entrenched.
Elections 1. The polls should end at 3:00 pm instead of at 5:00 pm.

2. Certified Regional Collated Results should be announced by the Chairperson to reduce tension and suspicion. However, the Commission should state clearly the percentage of results yet to be released, etc.
Security 1. Security around elections is the responsibility of the Ghana Police Service. 2. Ghana Police Service should arrange a periodic platform to engage IPAC and other Stakeholders.

3. Ghana Police Service should provide updates on the 2020 Elections malpractices and violence.

4. Political Parties and the Media must show commitment to the democratic process and be mindful of their comments, as some of their statements have the tendency to provoke violence and inflame tensions and suspicions.

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