Rawlings: Protect sanctity of right of choice

Former President Jerry Rawlings has called on the Electoral Commission (EC) to maintain the sanctity of the power of choice of the electorate during elections.

According to him, that would promote stability and acceptance of electoral processes by contenders.

Former President Rawlings indicated that, “If elections in the country are carried out with utmost integrity, candidates will no longer doubt the results, freedom and justice is not abstract, as it is related to the sanctity of the right of choice”.

This was contained in a statement, signed and issued by Kobina Andoh Amoakwa, the Communications Director of the office of former President Jerry John Rawlings, on Wednesday in Accra.

The Electoral Commissioner led a six-member delegation to the office of the former president, as part of their desire to bring the commission closer to stakeholders to demystify the electoral processes, and also exorcise the cloak of secrecy that has shrouded the commission’s work.

The former President, who was speaking to the leadership of the EC, led by the Chairperson, Jean Mensa in a meeting, stated that, “The electoral process in the country has lost its credibility, as many politicians disenfranchise the right of the electorate by showering them with money, hence the sanctity of the right of choice must be preserved.

“It is not easy to maintain a high level of integrity because we all know what we have been doing during elections, within our parties’ structures where money is just used left and right to disenfranchise our own people, political parties tend to demand highest standards from the electoral commission when they have undermined and defiled the sanctity of the process,” the former president lamented.

Former President Rawlings lauded Mrs Mensa for upholding her values and urged her to let her integrity guide and shape her leadership, stressing that, “The commission has to make their intentions clear to the masses for them not to be swayed by parties.”

Earlier, Mrs Mensa indicated that, although the commission had been seen by some as ‘ivory tower’, it would work hard for the people to believe in the electoral processes.  

She said the commission had learnt lessons from the country’s election ever since they took over in August 2018, and bemoaned the Ayawaso West Wuogon incidence had enlightened them and promised to beef up security during future elections to avert the situation from reoccurring.

BY TIMES REPORTER

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