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We won’t accept results of a flawed election, Mahama tells EC

The NDC flagbearer says the EC must begin regular comprehensive and transparent consultations with all stakeholders in the electoral process

The flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Mahama, has warned that the party will not accept any flawed results in the 7 December elections.

Mahama said there have been several irregularities with the ongoing voter exhibition exercise by the Electoral Commission.

Addressing a news conference in Accra, he questioned why the electoral body failed to publish the provisional register and inform the parties involved in the elections about anomalies discovered in the voters’ register.

“Already the NDC has raised several questions in a letter we dispatched to the EC chairperson that must be answered urgently and candidly,” he said.

“When did it come to the attention of the EC that some of the voter ID cards issued during the voter registration exercise had duplicate ID numbers and therefore were defect?

“Why did the EC not inform political parties who are the major stakeholders in the electoral process, in the spirit of fairness and transparency and in line with established electoral practice?

“Indeed, the normal process would have been to invite political parties to deploy their agents to monitor any such process in accordance with our electoral laws and convention,” he said.

Irregularities

Commenting on a viral video in which EC officials are shown apparently printing voter identification cards in secret for unknown applicants, Mahama said the incident calls the integrity of the process into question.

He wondered why the EC has deployed only 5,000 biometric verification devices (BVDs) to eliminate the need for manual verification, when a budget was approved for 75,000 BVDs for the exercise.

Mahama said the party’s observation has shown a huge disparity between the total number of registrants as issued in the daily registration printout and the total number of registrants at some centres. 

He described the omission of names and other irregularities in areas such as Ashaiman, Krowor, Tamale South, Jirapa, Elmina and Akatsi as worrying, given the huge differences in figures.

Extension of exhibition 

The NDC flagbearer said his party has been vindicated by the EC’s decision to extend the current voter exhibition exercise to Sunday.

The exhibition exercise was originally scheduled to end yesterday (Friday 25 September 2020) but has now been extended to Sunday 27 September.

But Mahama said: “We however think the two-day extension is inadequate to address the magnitude of issues that we have discovered that needs to be resolved.”

He wants the EC to begin regular, comprehensive and transparent meetings with the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) in the light of developments.

The NDC in the past has boycotted IPAC meetings.

International observers 

Mahama extended an invitation to international election observers to take an interest in challenges that have emanated from the voter exhibition exercise and arrive in the country in good time to familiarise themselves with the situation with organisation of the December elections. 

“We expect that when such monumental breaches are pointed out, the EC will take steps and act in good faith to solve them,” he said.

“This will enable them [the observers] to engage the EC, IPAC and all major stakeholders in a bid to resolve the major issues with the register.”

Fred Dzakpata 

Asaase Radio 99.5 – tune in or log on to broadcasts online.
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