General News of Saturday, 5 January 2019
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has described as premature claims by opposition National Democratic Congress that the referendum on the creation of new regions was the worst election to be held in the electoral history of Ghana.
According to the party, it is untenable for the NDC make final remarks on the performance of the Electoral Commission based on uncertified allegations of electoral irregularities in the recent referenda on the creation of new regions.
The NDC in a press conference addressed by its Deputy General Secretary, Peter Boamah Otukonor, said the matters that arose during the just ended referendum do not inspire confidence in the current leadership of the commission, adding that the Jean Mensa- led administration is a looming disaster with a potential to reverse Ghana’s democratic gains.
The party further threatened that it would compel the EC Chairperson Jean Mensa to resign if the upcoming district level election also records what they describe as gross violations, manipulation and abuse of the electoral processes in the referendum recur.
But according to Nana Obiri-Boahen, the NDC’s comments are misplaced.
He said the NDC must exercise patience and allow the EC to independently verify the claims of election malpractice and present its report, before the party can go ahead to pass a verdict on the performance of the commission.
He told Citi News that;
“We need to probe further to find out if indeed that video is associated with the referenda. In addition, we need to be satisfied that if indeed it actually happend, at which polling station. Electoral irregularity must be condemned. The EC chair herself has informed the whole world that she has set up a committee and so we need to exercise maximum patience and tolerance for the EC to come out and tell us the outcome of the committee’s work. For that press conference, I think it is premature. They should have waited for the EC chair herself to come out because the EC chair has assured that they will go all out to investigate the veracity or otherwise of that video but our brothers will not allow us wait a little,” Obiri-Boahen said.
The Electoral Commission (EC) has said it will not shield any of its staff found culpable in alleged malpractices during the just ended referendum for the creation of new regions.
“The Electoral Commission will not shield any staff, permanent or temporary who is found to have violated the law,” the EC said in a statement.
The Commission says it has contacted its regional officers and the security agencies to verify the authenticity or otherwise of the videos.
“As an institution that has fairness, transparency and integrity as a hallmark of its operations, we are focused on ensuring that the will of the people I upheld at all times.”