The Coalition for Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), has called on electoral stakeholders to collectivize efforts towards ensuring the compliance of COVID-19 safety protocols in the ongoing nationwide mass new voter registration exercise.
Its National Coordinator, Albert Arhin believes commitment on the side of the Electoral Commission, political actors, security agencies, among others, will go a long way to curtail the disregard for these safety measures.
Few days into the registration exercise, it has been fraught with a myriad of challenges including the lack of social distancing and the breach of safety guidelines amidst the Coronavirus pandemic.
But, Mr. Arhin while speaking on the Point of View on Citi TV urged various interest groups to make it their responsibility in ensuring that this worrying trend is reversed.
“I will want to say that as stakeholders – politicians, political parties, EC, police officers, security persons and everybody who is involved in the exercise should all cooperate to ensure that the COVID-19 protocols are obeyed”.
According to him, a collective fight presents a rather more effective approach than leaving the enforcement process in the hands of the EC alone.
“Let us not think that, the EC, in the final analysis, should be blamed for everything that is going wrong. It is not only the EC that will be infected. The staff of the EC will be infected, the police will be infected. The policemen will be infected. So it is incumbent on all those who go to register to make sure that all the protocols are observed. It is in our own interest.”
Meanwhile, CODEO says based on its initial observations about the testing problems that have fraught the registration process, it expects the EC to make significant improvements in the coming days.
“Now, the exercise should take off smoothly after these two days. I will say those days were experiments, but now we do know the shortcomings of the machines and so registration officers should know what to do,” he added.