Transfer of votes: Electoral Commission rescinds decision barring party agents from observing exercise

Chair of the EC, Jean Mensa

The Electoral Commission has rescinded its decision not to allow agents of political parties observe the ongoing Vote Transfer exercise. 

The Commission said this followed concerns expressed by some stakeholders.

“Following internal discussions and in consideration of the concerns of some stakeholders, the Commission has decided to revert to its decision made at IPAC. The Commission has directed its Officers at the Districts to allow Agents of Political Parties to OBSERVE the Transfer of Votes Exercise with effect from tomorrow Wednesday, 5th June, 2024,” portions of a press release dated June 4 read.

On Sunday 2. June, 2024 the Electoral Commission issued a directive to its Regional Directorate that, in view of the clashes occurring at some of the District Offices, Regional Directors should inform District Officers to discontinue the observation of the Transfer of Votes Exercise by Agents of Political Parties, effective Monday 3. June, 2024.

The Commission placed on record that unlike the Voters Registration Exercise and the actual Election Day where the law expressly provides for Political Party Agents to be present at Registration Centres and at all Polling Stations, no such provisions are made in the law for Political Parties to OBSERVE the Transfer of Votes.

“We emphasize that the directive to withdraw Agents from the Transfer Exercise was as a result of threats to our Nation’s peace stemming from the actions of Political Party Agents at our District Offices. The Commission’s decision was not to shield our work from scrutiny, neither was it to promote the interest of a particular Political Party,” the EC stressed.

“The Commission’s decision to allow Political Party Agents to OBSERVE the ongoing Transfer of Votes Exercise is part of its efforts to deepen transparency,” it added.

The EC therefore strongly urged “the Agents of Political Parties to abide by the rules and refrain from any form of interference which could lead to violence as witnessed over the last few days. We urge the leaders of the Political Parties to educate their Agents on the Commission’s laws prior to assigning them duties as Observers of the various electoral activities.”

It warned that “The Commission will not hesitate to request the withdrawal of Agents who disrupt the Transfer process.”

The Electoral Commission assured the General Public that it is committed to the principles of transparency and fairness.

“We reiterate that transparency and accountability remain the hallmark of all our activities, hence our decision to allow the Political Parties to observe the Transfer of Votes Exercise. We call on the public to ignore statements seeking to suggest that the Commission is working for a particular political interest. This is not true,” the statement concluded.

Read also:

Voter transfer exercise: Stop working in the interest of the NPP – Mahama tells EC