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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Prisoners Must Vote Only In Presidential Elections - EC Boss

Prisoners Must Vote Only In Presidential Elections - EC Boss

Dr Afari Gyan

The Electoral Commissioner of Ghana, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan has suggested that prisoners be made to vote only in the presidential election in December and not in the parliamentary polls.

Among his reasons, prisoners may not have adequate knowledge of the candidates contesting in the constituencies they find themselves.

Speaking in a meeting with religious bodies in Accra, Dr. Afari Gyan raised fears that political parties may begin to raise concerns when votes get swayed in favour of their opponents.

Afari Gyan said “we will register the prisoners and they will vote. They have agreed that we set up polling stations inside the prisons for them to vote”.

He added “I wish that we all agree that they [Prisoners] vote only in the Presidential elections because for the Presidential elections it doesn’t matter where you vote”.

Meanwhile, the suggestion by the electoral commissioner, has received mixed reactions from both the New Patriotic Party and the ruling National Democratic Congress.

General Secretary of the NPP, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as Sir John said it doesn’t matter whether the Prisoners live in the constituency or not, they must be allowed to vote both in the Presidential and Parliamentary.

He said “as well as the person qualifies to register in that particular constituency, that person is fit to determine who becomes what. It is not fit for us to determine to them that they have a right to vote only in the Presidential”.

On the other hand, the ruling NDC appears to be in good company with the EC.

Deputy General Secretary of the party in charge of operations, George Lawson in an interview with XYZ News said the EC’s suggestion is not out of place.

Source: XYZ News/Ghana

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