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Credibility of EC matters more than shielding any official — Jean Mensa

BY: Dominic Moses Awiah

The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mrs Jean Mensa, has indicated that the credibility of the commission matters more than shielding any official.

In line with this, she gave an assurance that the Commission is willing and ready to prosecute individual members of staff who engage in any electoral malpractice than for the entire electoral body’s credibility to be tainted.

She said although the commission’s internal investigation conducted on a video that allegedly portrayed some people undertaking multiple voting in the recent referendum on the creation of the six regions revealed no wrongdoing, the commission was ready to do everything within its power to assist the police to unravel the truth.

Mrs Mensa has, therefore, called on the public or any individual with information concerning the matter to assist the police who have begun investigation into the case.

“The EC has already referred the matter to the police to investigate and we are ready to provide them with any other information to unravel the issue and put finality to the case. Our credibility matters more than shielding any official,” she said in an answer to a question asked at last Tuesday’s press conference in Accra.

Background

In December last year, some communities in 47 districts across the country voted in a referendum aimed at creating six new regions.

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The new regions the referendum sought to create were: the Western North, Ahafo, Bono East, Oti, North East and Savannah.

However after the exercise, some organisations, including the Northern Sector Action on Awareness Centre (NORSAAC), a Northern-based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), expressed worry about violation of electoral rules.

The organisation complained of the atmosphere at the polling station and the composure of the public officials, security and traditional authorities, indicating that they made it too scary for citizens to attempt opposing the process, hence democracy was under attack.   

There was also a video on social media allegedly showing people undertaking multiple voting and also engaging in other irregularities.

Following the public concerns, the EC instituted an investigation into the matter and also referred the video to the police for further investigation.

Findings

According to the commission, its finding from the investigations revealed that officials of EC adhered to the strict regulations laid down for the referendum on the creation of the six regions.

The commission said its internal investigations on the video and some of the concerns raised by the public regarding the referendum had revealed that its officials did not partake in any wrongdoings.

Mrs Mensa said although its investigations revealed no wrongdoing on the part of its officials, the commission was still waiting for the police to complete its investigation on the matter.

“While the commission is waiting on the police, our officials are also ready for any further engagement,” she added.

Mrs Mensah repeated the commission’s earlier stand that it would not shield any of its staff members found culpable in alleged malpractices during the just-ended referendum for the creation of new regions.