Mrs Jean Mensa, EC Boss promises free and fair elections

The Electoral Commission (EC) has entreated Ghanaians to disregard allegations of rigging and assertions of a flawed electoral process and election by the 2020 presidential candidate of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama.

It reiterated its commitment to conduct free, fair, credible, transparent and peaceful election on December 7.

The country’s election management body emphasised that the transparency of its processes should give confidence to the citizenry that it cannot rig an election.

Former President Mahama who is staging a comeback after his disastrous defeat in 2016, has been accusing the EC of managing a flawed electoral process and supposedly plotting to rig the polls for the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).

However, EC’s Chairperson Mrs Jean Mensa in statement issued on Monday in response to alleged plots to rig the polls in favour of the governing NPP, indicated that every aspect of the electoral processes is closely monitored by the political parties.

“Right from Registration to the Election Day, our Political Parties police and monitor all our processes,” it noted.

The Electoral processes, the Commission indicated, comprise:

•     Gazetting of registration, Exhibition and Voting Centres

•     Registration – 21 days

•     Exhibition    – Provisional Register given to all Political Parties

•     Political Parties provided with final Register

•     Printing of Ballots

•     Ballots statistics

•     Seals

•     Accompanying ballots to Police armouries

•     Election Day – Process is open and transparent, conducted under broad day light

•     Ballots are inspected to ensure seals are intact

•     Ballots are inspected to ensure seals are intact

•     Voting is done in open spaces

•     Political Party agents monitor processes and do a count of persons who vote.

•     Counting is done in the full glare of Political Party Agents, the media and interested public.

•     Results are then documented on pink sheets and signed by Party agents.

•     Posted at Polling Stations

•     It is after all this that the pink sheets are then sent to the Commission

•     At the National Collation Centre, we also have Party agents who inspect the signed pink sheets that come in before they are certified by the Electoral Commission.

Game of evidence

The EC has called on political parties and indeed all Ghanaians to publicly raise genuine concerns for redress ahead of the upcoming polls.

“Can someone tell us at which point of the transparent process, the Electoral Commission can rig the election?

“We use this platform to call all Political Parties and stakeholders who have genuine concerns to raise them in the full glare of the public.

“Once we are informed about the weaknesses and gaps in the process outlined, we will take immediate steps to address and close all the gaps and report same to the public in a transparent, open and accountable manner.

“Until then we entreat the naysayers to cease their onslaught of trying to discredit a thorough and credible electoral process and a Commission that has been open and transparent in all its dealings.

“If for nothing at all, the current Commission has opened up all its processes to the public and removed the cloaks of secrecy that shrouded its activities and operations. We have laid bare our processes for all to see,” EC stated.  

The Commission indicated that the number of persons who registered by District, Region as well as the sex and age is known to all interested citizen, and is no longer secret.

The challenges encountered during the Exhibition Exercise, it said, were discussed openly, solved in a timely manner and reported upon promptly.

“While constituencies such as Ashaiman, which had some gaps in data have all their issues resolved, we have been transparent in all our dealings and intend to remain so.”

The EC urged Ghanaians to work with it to strengthen and uphold the integrity of the Electoral systems and the Commission as a whole.

Its doors, it said, remain open and assured it will continue to be receptive to constructive feedback and advice from well-meaning Ghanaians as this has helped enrich its work and enabled it to serve the country better.