Journalists with accreditation will vote as ‘special voters’ - NMC

Journalists with accreditation will vote as ‘special voters’ - NMC

A Public Elections Regulations, 2016 was laid before Parliament on Thursday and captured how media personnel accredited by the National Media Commission (NMC) will be allowed to take part in the Special Voting for "special voters".

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The regulations which is expected to mature and used for the 2016 polls after 21 sitting days by the august House defines a special voter as

(a) a security officer

(b) an election officer; or

( c) a media person accredited by the National Media Commission.

The special voting is scheduled to be held a day before the elections and the provision in the new law stipulates that any journalist not recognised by the NMC would not be allowed to exercise his or her franchise on that day.

Journalists who were hitherto allowed to vote because of their busy schedules during elections were denied the privilege in the 2012 polls.

Journalists were not put on the special voting list in 2012 because it was not captured in the Constitutional Instrument (C.I.) 75 which gives election a legal backing.

The EC chair person Charlotte Osei had stated early this year that journalists in the country would take part in the special voting exercise ahead of the 2016 general elections.

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The controversial decision made the former chairman of the EC Kwadwo Afari-Djan, on one occasion explain that the biometric system posed a challenge since journalists had registered at different polling centres and allowing them to participate in the special election would mean creating new polling centres for them.

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