Dr. Emmanuel Akwetey, the Executive Director of the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), has demanded that the Electoral Commission (EC) assure Ghanaians that they will not be denied voting rights regardless of the challenges that may arise on voting day.
Akwetey believes that such a move could temper the anxieties of those who, due to technical failures, may not get the opportunity to cast their ballots on December 7th 2012.
He issued these comments on Friday on Joy FM's Super Morning Show in response to EC Chairman Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan's warning that voting will be suspended at any polling station whose biometric verification machine breaks down.
Gyan had explained the day before that this measure aims to maintain the credibility of the polls and reduce the possibility of a violent confrontation.
Akwetey insisted that in the name of public safety, the EC should publicly announce that voters unable to cast votes on the 7th due to technical malfunctions should nonetheless expect their votes to be factored into the final count.
In a related development, Prof. Akwetey has advised the public to take a stand against electoral violence that is perpetrated by political parties loyalists during and after elections.
He noted that, “electoral violence, impunity and injustice are major threats to peaceful elections…Time to tell the nation impunity and injustice will not be tolerated here”.
He suggested that citizens use mobile phones to record the illegal actions of people trying to interfere with the election' outcome so that these people can be tried in court.