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EC must apologise for blunders - OneGhana Movement

BY: Isaac Yeboah
EC Chairperson Mrs Jean Mensa
EC Chairperson Mrs Jean Mensa

Pressure group OneGhana Movement has asked the Electoral Commission (EC) to apologize and assure Ghanaians never again to rush to declare election results only to go back to correct same.

The EC has had to clarify its declared results in the presidential polls of December 7, 2020, acknowledging that Chairperson, Mrs Jean Mensa "inadvertently used 13,433,573 as the total valid votes cast" instead of 13,119,460.

But OneGhana says in a statement issued Friday that the EC “is reported to have made further corrections on its website and social media handles,” and while these errors may be marginal, “are unpardonable and only create doubts about the credibility of the results as declared.”

It said the “dangerous but avoidable development by the Independent Referee- the EC has the potential to throw the country into chaos”, wherefore it calls on the EC to “apologize and assure citizens that this will never be repeated.”

OneGhana Movement, reminded the EC "that the confidence in our democracy is significantly hinged on the legitimacy of our elections. We, therefore, urge it to improve its processes, people, openness, and cooperation with stakeholders in pursuit of accuracy and transparency than just speed."

Read OneGhana Movement’s statement below in full, signed by its Executive Secretary, Emily Nyuur.

Related: OneGhana Movement demands probe into election deaths, injuries

Electoral Commission Chairperson Jean Mensa still at post

Election violence under investigation — Taskforce

PRESS RELEASEPRESS RELEASE

ARREST AND PROSECUTE PERPETRATORS OF ELECTION VIOLENCE

OneGhana Movement commends voters and stakeholders for the peaceful conduct of the 2020 elections on Monday December 7. We are, however, disturbed about reports of pockets of violence the night of Election Day and thereafter resulting in damage to property, injuries and loss of lives. We call on authorities especially the police to arrest and prosecute perpetrators of the violence and breaches of various election regulations and laws to deter and prevent a recurrence. We note with grave concern the following:

The National Election Security Taskforce recorded 61 pre and post-election incidents nationwide. 21 have been identified as true cases of electoral violence. 6 involved in gunshots resulting in death of 5 persons.

A. INCIDENCTS

  1. Central Region

Awutu Senya East Constituency- 2 people are receiving treatment from gunshot wounds.

  1. Greater Accra Region

Odododiodio Constituency-2 people pronounced dead whilst six others sustained gunshot injuries.

  1. Greater Accra Region

Ablekuma Central- 4 people including a police officer sustained gunshot injuries during collation of results on December 8, 2020.

  1. Bono East Region

Techiman South- 2 dead, 4 injured from a shooting incident.

  1. Northern Regions

Savelugu constituency, 1 dead, 3 injured from a shooting during jubilation in the community. A police station was also shot at when people besieged it.

B. CONDUCT OF NDC AND NPP

It was sad that the two main political parties New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC) organised several press conferences claiming victory ahead of declaration of results by the EC. As this was the 8th elections in the 4th Republic, it was shameful that this behaviour which characterised past elections was repeated despite appeals against it ahead of December 7.

C. REJECTION OF DECLARATION BY NDC

The N DC reserves the right to impugn the results as long it has evidence of wrongdoing, but it must resort to the court and restrain its supporters from taking to the streets. Supporters of the NPP who have also today taken to the streets over results of parliamentary elections must also be advised accordingly. Thankfully, a presidential election petition will now take 42 days to resolve in the Supreme Court and there is also the assurance that the High Court will deal expeditiously with petitions over parliamentary elections.

D. EC'S BLUNDER DANGEROUS

The Electoral Commission (EC) has had to correct errors after its declaration of the Presidential results on December 9. It is reported to have made further corrections on its website and social media handles. These errors, be they marginal, are unpardonable and only create doubts about the credibility of the results as declared. This dangerous but avoidable development by the Independent Referee- the EC has the potential to throw the country into chaos. The EC must apologize and assure citizens that this will never be repeated.

E. OUR DEMANDS

We demand an independent probe into circumstances that led to the death of the 5 people as well as the injury of 17 persons.

We demand swift prosecution and sanctions for all perpetrators including EC officers and security personnel caught in breaches of the law.

The IGP must update citizens on actions taken over similar infractions recorded during the voter registration exercise.

The EC is reminded that the confidence in our democracy is significantly hinged on the legitimacy of our elections. We, therefore, urge it to improve its processes, people, openness, and cooperation with stakeholders in pursuit of accuracy and transparency than just speed.

SIGNED

Emily Nyuur

Executive Secretary