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IEC may use ‘penal laws’ against attesting for minors

Jun 1, 2011, 2:25 PM

As the nationwide registration of voters progresses ahead of the  scheduled presidential, parliamentary and local government elections, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has called on all stakeholders in the electoral process to scrupulously and prudently apply the laws on registration of voters.

In a statement issued yesterday, the Commission also warned that failure to adhere to this “may lead to the application of penal laws”.

“Sequel to the intermittent problems that plagued the first week of the general registration of voters exercise, the Chairman of the IEC, Alhagie Mustapha L. Carayol, embarked on a nationwide tour of the registration centres across the country in order to ameliorate the situation,” the Commission said in a statement.

According to the IEC statement, it was found that certain persons are taking advantage of the fact that the Electoral Laws state that once a claimant presents any one of the five documents, that individual is not to be questioned but is to be issued with a voter’s card immediately. Consequently, the Commission added, “they are attesting for minors to be registered”.

The IEC, however, stated that notwithstanding the abovementioned problems, the provisional number of registered voters at the end of the third week of the exercise (5th May to 25th May 2011) was 560,403 (Five Hundred and Sixty Thousand, Four Hundred and Three).