The Electoral Commission’s decision to abolish the strong room concept in the 2016 elections has received a major endorsement from the major opposition parties in the country.
Over the years some political parties and civil society organizations have called for elimination of that system.
Chairman of the election regulatory body, Charlotte Osei announced the decision last Friday at the close of a two-day forum on the voters register.
She said the EC would introduce a more transparent and inclusive process to replace the strong room system.
“A more transparent process will be introduced, what we are going to have is a bigger room that we will have cameras and more inclusiveness of the electorate,” she said in response to a question requesting the EC’s position on the concept.
Political parties including the New Patriotic Party and the Progressive Peoples party told Joy News they fully back the move.
Peter Mac Manu former National Chairman of the NPP says this will go a long way to meet the “openness and transparency” that is required of the EC.
He said the NPP will now demand that presidential results are sent directly from the polling centres to the EC head office. Previously the polling results are sent to a collation centre at the constituency for onward forward to the national head office.
General Secretary of the People’s National Convention Bernard Mornah said the party is excited by the move by the EC to “demystify the issue of strong room”, and make its processes transparent.
General Secretary of the Progressive Peoples’ Party, Kofi Asamoah Siaw noted that political parties have on a different platform agreed to abolish the strong room.
It should be replaced with national coalition centre where cameras would be allowed in to film the process, he stated
He also strongly believed when implemented, the new process would help remove the “mystery” surrounding the strong room.
Kofi Siaw further wants the EC to publish names of verified voters so that it can be compared with the votes cast to enhance auditing of the process by parties.
For the Youth Organiser of the Convention People’s Party, Ernesto Yeboah, a new system is necessary since the current one “created secrecy that didn’t allow for transparency”.
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