CODEO replies EC over election violence report

Arhin

Arhin

The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), yesterday stated that its Close-Of-Polls statement on the recent Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency by-election is factual and reflected what the observers’ team documented.

It has, therefore, refuted allegations by the Electoral Commission (EC) that it (CODEO) said the shooting incident took place at the polling station.

It would be recalled that the EC denied in a statement issued in Accra that the shooting affected voting.

The Commission described as untrue the allegations by CODEO that a policeman was attacked by a National Security officer at Prison’s JHS polling station.

However addressing a press conference in Accra yesterday, Mr Albert Arhin, the National Coordinator of CODEO stated that the observer team witnessed the violent incident, including shooting, which took place at the La Bawaleshie area at East Legon.

Mr Arhin said CODEO was prepared to cooperate with the EC and the security agencies to undertake further investigation into the incident where a stationed police officer was attacked for questioning and directing some plain clothed security operatives at the Prisons JHS polling station.

Mr Arhin indicated that the coalition’s statement did not in any way link the EC to the shooting incident saying, “The exact cause of the violent incident could not be confirmed”.

He noted that despite the statement by the EC, the coalition reaffirms its initial observation that voting was temporarily disrupted at a polling station close to the shooting incident due to panic and chaos from the shooting incident.

Mr Arhin said the coalition made no attribution that the presence of stationed security officers specifically disrupted the voting process.

He pointed out that the coalition’s general observation about the security deployment for the election was not limited to stationed security personnel but also, mobile patrol teams.

“Indeed, security operatives in some of the mobile patrol vehicles sighted by observers at some polling stations were armed,” he added.

The Chairperson of CODEO, Madam Merinda Greenstreet, said the coalition was an independent body to help the country to understand whether an election was credible and peaceful.

She said the coalition did not back any political party or group but to ensure that through elections the country remained peaceful.

Madam Greenstreet noted that the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) did not control the coalition and that it only secured funding for election observers to discharge their duties.

BY ABEDUWAA LUCY APPIAH AND FREDERICK GBESE- MENSAH

 

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