It is a fact that most Ghanaians have confidence in the Electoral Commission (EC) in organizing credible elections but some events leading to the December elections have given the general public and stakeholders the cause to suspect and insinuate rigging and also insult the EC.
This is because most of these events could easily be averted, if the EC was proactive and also sensitive on the fact that stakes are high and as such it should be extra meticulous in whatever it is doing.
For example, at an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting on Friday 25th November, 2016 at the headquarters of the EC in Accra, the EC failed to explain what its chairperson meant by close results will trigger recounting.
EC Chairperson, Madam Charlotte Osei in her recent interview with BBC’s Akwasi Sarpong disclosed that when the result for the December 7 polls is too close, the Commission will call for a recount of the total votes cast.
At the Friday’s meeting, the political parties were not satisfied as the EC could not tell how close the election results must be to demand a recount.
The EC at the meeting told IPAC it was now going to have a meeting to determine the “closeness” its chair referred to.
‘I don’t think far, folks. I don’t think madness, ladies and gentlemen’. Why should the EC make such comment when it knows it does not know the modalities to determine closeness? This afterthought will not help the election, please.
The EC boss must be sure of what to say before she utters any word because every eye in the world is on Ghana now.
Another funny incident is the missing of the six ballot boxes in the Western Region which is also adding on to the already existing tensions.
The Western Regional office of the Electoral Commission confirmed the claims by the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the region that six of its ballot boxes meant for the December 7 polls have gone missing.
The incident was said to have occurred when the six boxes which were part of 44 boxes that were being transferred from the Western Regional Head Office of the Electoral Commission to the various constituencies in the same region.
The incident happened on 16th of November 2016 somewhere Tarkwa.
EC explained it was reported to the Tarkwa Police; but later had to be reported to the Kwesimintsim Police Command on Friday November 25, 2016.
The Electoral Commission via its Facebook page said the missing boxes will be replaced before election day and as I write, opposition political parties, especially the NPP, is not happy about the incident.
Folks, I see this as childish on the part of the EC.
The EC is taking Ghanaians for granted. They are not taking the elections serious. This election is crucial to Ghanaians but the body mandated to organize the election is not serious.
Six boxes of rubber or plastic made boxes gone missing and you are telling the whole world that you will replace them. Yes we know you will replace them but what is the EC doing or going to do about those who were negligent.
Permit me to ask these questions:
- Which vehicle were the ballot boxes being transported in?
- Was it a pick-up or a van?
- If they were in pick-up, why and who took that decision to put them in pick-up?
- If they were in vans, how did they get missing on the way?
- If they were in pick-up, why didn’t they tie them with rope or cover them just like companies or truck drivers of cocoa and cement do?
- How come those in the vehicle did not hear when they fell down?
- Or the ballot boxes are like papers and so they did not make any noise when they fell?
- Can’t the EC use bullion vans to convey electoral materials for safety reason?
The EC must come again on this matter.
This is a mere negligent and so the EC officials should be made to answer questions. I am sure the officers who were traveling with the materials are known. They should be questioned because this is strange.
By Kweku Antwi-Otoo