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Bagbin against military presence at voting centers during elections

Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin has talked against military availability at polling stations during election period which he says creates unnecessary tension which can be avoided by making just the Police Service available for such duties.

However, the former Member of Parliament for Nadowli West constituency in the Upper West Region was quick to add that, the involvement of the military can be done when it becomes more of importance or a necessity.

Mr. Bagbin made this known in his welcome address to Parliamentarians when they returned to the House from their break yesterday, June 11, 2024.

He was reacting to the recent pocket of violence in parts of the country which has characterized the soon to end voter registration exercise.

He said, the situation needs to be addressed as the country prepares for the 2024 election in December adding that, stepshave to be taken to engage stakeholders in ensuring a free and fair 2024 presidential and parliamentary election.

He revealed that, Parliament together with the prominent members of the Clergy will be engaging the Electoral Commission, Police, National Security Council, Presidential Candidates, party executives among other for a peaceful poll.

“We don’t want to see the military during elections. When there is the need to call them, they will be called. But they should not be at polling or voting centres. The signs and signals of happening in the country are not that of assurance and hope. I shudder when I am told that people going to write their names carry knives, guns, just to go and write names. What about when we are going to vote? And at the end of it all the results are announced and somebody else has carried the day and not the other. I shudder to picture what can happen” he said.

Meanwhile former President and flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) John Dramani Mahama, has called on the Electoral Commission (EC) to extend the upcoming mop-up voter registration exercise which is expected to start on August 1-3, 2024beyond district offices to include hard-to-reach areas.

“If this young lady or gentleman manages to secure two guarantors, pays for the transportation of the guarantors to accompany them to a registration centre and due to network failure and postponements, this young person is unable to register via the guarantor system, what is the likelihood that he or she can return another day to register with two guarantors?”

He addedduring an interaction with Ghanaians dubbed ‘Mahama Conversations’, “That leads to voter suppression. I will continue to urge the EC to prevent voter suppression by extending the mop-up exercise beyond its district offices to include all hard-to-reach areas.This will enable Ghanaians who have turned 18 or more to register from the 1st to the 3rd of August.

“However, let me assure you that no matter the challenges or artificial mountains and obstacles they erect in your paths to prevent you from exercising your franchise, my victory in the polls shall be your victory. It shall be a victory for all the suffering Ghanaians,”

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