We are investigating malpractice allegations in new regions referendum - Jean Mensa

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong
EC Chairperson Mrs Jean Adukwei Mensa addressing the press conference on Friday
EC Chairperson Mrs Jean Adukwei Mensa addressing the press conference on Friday

The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mrs Jean Adukwei Mensa has explained that the allegations of malpractices in the new regions referendum captured on video and being circulated on social media has come to the attention of the commission and investigations are underway.

At least two separate videos alleging malpractices at two separate areas in the referendum has been shared on social media and persons suspected to be election officers were also seen engaging in malpractice.

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In one of the videos, a person suspected to be an EC official is seen thumb printing several ballot papers whilst sitting down at a place said to be a polling station.

In the second video, someone was also seen in an EC branded polling booth, thumb printing a number of what was assumed to be ballot papers.

There is a third video also in circulation alleging same but in that video, the ballot paper the people are thumb printing is different from what was used in the referendum as it is longer.

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At a press conference in Accra Friday evening to declare the results of the referendum, the chairperson of the EC said its attention had been drawn to "some videos circulating on social media, alleging wrong doing in the just ended referendum exercise."

She said the security agencies have been informed and investigations are underway.

"The commission takes this seriously and have notified regional directors and security agencies. I think it is important to emphasise that the commission has as a hallmark of its operations, the principles of fairness, integrity and transparency in all its operations."

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Addressing the public concerns on the videos, Mrs Mensa said the EC will not shield any staff, permanent or temporary who is found to have violated the law.

"We are waiting to hear from our officials and the security agencies on the line of action to take. We are not familiar with these officers, investigations are going on and I believe that we are also calling on members of the public to present any evidence that they may have to the commission and to the police. Once that is done, we will know the next line of action to take."

"But I think it is important to emphasise that the commission will not shield any person whether permanent or temporary staff who is found to have violated the law and I think it is important we put that on record."

The commission said the security agencies are working 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 is upheld at all times," the commission said.

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