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No security officer at Ayawaso West Wuogon was armed – EC dissociates from violence

The Electoral Commission, Ghana (EC) has rejected allegations that the by-election at Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency was marred by violence.

The EC particularly took exception to a report by the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) that voters were intimidated by security officers.

No official explanation has yet been given to the 19.83 per cent voter turnout aside the withdrawal of the largest opposition party, National Democratic Congress (NDC), from the polls due to violence at the home of its candidate, Delali Kwasi Brempong.

But CODEO said the presence of masked security officers said to be operatives of the National Security Council (NSC) negatively affected the exercise.

The domestic observers said the officers displayed lack of understanding of electoral rules and regulations.

But Chairperson of the Commission Jean Mensa, in a statement on Friday, said her institution rejects “the assertion that the presence of unarmed police, immigration and fire service officers disrupted the conduct of polls”.

“It is important to stress that none of the security officers in any of the 137 polling stations across the Constituency was armed, giving voters the freewill to exercise their right to vote.

“Indeed, the police and officers of fire service and immigration deployed to the polling stations were seated quite far from the polling booth.”

Ms Mensa lashed out at some individuals and groups who want to link the Commission to the violence.

Condemning what happened at the residence of Mr Brempong, the EC said its focus is to “conduct credible, transparent and fair elections that uphold the will of the people as witnessed in all the 137 polling stations in the Constituency”.

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