Mrs Jean Mensa, EC Boss

Legal processes for the conduct of the upcoming general election have now been completed as the Public Elections Regulations, 2020 (C. I. 127) has come into force, replacing C. I. 94, 2016.

The regulations came into force last Friday after 21 mandatory parliamentary sitting days.

Electoral Commission (EC) laid the regulations in the House in accordance with the power conferred on it by article 51 of the Constitution.

The Regulations apply to presidential and parliamentary elections and with the necessary modifications to other public elections that the Electoral Commission may conduct.

It also spelt out functions of electoral officers before, during and after elections.

Returning officer

(1) The Chairman of the Commission shall be the returning officer for the purpose of the election of the President.

(2)  Except as provided under paragraph (b) of sub-regulation (1) of regulation 3, a person appointed under sub-regulation (3) shall perform the duties assigned by the Chairman of the Commission.

(3)  For the purpose of holding Parliamentary elections, the Commission shall appoint

(a)  a returning officer for each constituency in which the election is to be held; and

(b)  any other person to assist a returning officer as determined by the Commission.

(4) A returning officer or a person appointed to assist a returning officer shall

⑷ swear in the presence of a Judge or a judicial officer to faithfully and impartially fulfil the duties of the office of that person;

(b)  abide by the laws and regulations governing the conduct of public elections; and

(c)   discharge duties under the general supervision of the District Electoral Officer of the Commission.

Duties of a returning officer

3. (1) A person appointed as a returning officer under paragraph (a) of sub-regulation (3) of regulation 2 shall

(a) publish a notice of an election throughout the constituency in a manner determined by the Commission,

(b) receive and process the nomination forms of candidates,

(c) supervise the work of a presiding officer and polling assistants,

(d) provide polling officers with ballot boxes, ballot papers, biometric verification equipment and any other equipment or materials that the Commission considers necessary,

(e) receive from a candidate or a political party the letters of appointment of polling agents appointed by the candidate or political party,

 (f) administer the required oath to polling agents,

(g) receive and process the application of transferred voters, special voters, absent voters and proxy voters;

(h) arrange for a counting agent to swear an oath before a magistrate;

(i) assemble the results from the polling stations;

(j) publicly declare as elected in a parliamentary election the candidate who had the highest vote;

(k) forward to the Commission at the end of the poll an endorsed writ and a note of the total number of votes cast for each candidate;

(l) inform political party executives and any other interested party in the constituency of the establishment of additional new polling stations,

(m) collate and forward to the Commission the endorsed writ and collated provisional results of the total number of votes cast for each candidate in respect of the presidential election as set out in Form One of the Schedule and post a copy at the constituency collation centre; and

(n) perform any other duty determined by the Commission.