Political party stalwarts dialogue on electoral process

Mrs Jean Mensa, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission

Mrs Jean Mensa, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission

Political party stalwarts have urged the Electoral Management Board (EMB) to ensure transparency and accountability in the electoral process since outcomes of elections affected the citizenry.

They explained that to allay the fears of the electorate, the results should be announced in bits instead of collating all results before announcing.

The stalwarts were Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, Director of Elections of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Peter Mac Manu, Campaign Director for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections and Samia Nkrumah, former Chairperson of the Convention People’s Party (CPP).

They expressed the sentiments at an Accra dialogue on the theme: ‘Consolidating Ghana’s democratic governance-The role of the Electoral Commission (EC)’ here yesterday.

Mr Ampofo pointed out that strengthening the security services would actually neutralise vigilantism, gradually water down their influence in society and the political system.

Mr Ampofo cited the Upper West Akyem Constituency of the Eastern Region as one of the troubled areas where people nearly hijacked the collation room, it took the bravado of the electoral officer with the protection of the security forces to move the ballot papers to the regional capital Koforidua to have them counted.

“Vigilantism remains one of the disturbing phenomenons in our political landscape because the NPP and NDC have various groups aligned to them.

Campaign Director for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections, Peter Mac Manu, challenged the Elections Management Body (EMB) and the Electoral Commission (EC), to announce presidential election results in bits as the collation of the entire results continue rather than wait for the entire results before announcing the winner.

According to him, the trend where the EC collates all the results at the head office before they are announced by the retuning officer for the presidential elections, chairperson of the EC, breeds unnecessary tension and should be stopped.

Former Chairperson of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) Samia Nkrumah expressed worry the current Constitution did not aid in strengthening the country’s democracy since its contents had an influence on the mindset of the citizenry.

A former Member of Parliament for Jomoro in the Western Region, she observed that the voters register was a major challenge to the country’s electoral process, judiciary and legislature which spelt out fundamental rights and duties of the citizenry and recommended that the EC did not have to wait till election periods before reviewing the register. –ghanaweb.com/3news.com

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