Allegations by the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) that seek to link the Electoral Commission (EC) to the unpleasant events that unfolded during the by-election in the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency have been vehemently rejected by the commission.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday in Accra, Jean Mensa, Chairperson of the EC, revealed that her outfit was not party to the shooting incident at the private residence of the parliamentary candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) at La-Bawaleshie.
She pointed out that “it’s important to stress that none of the EC’s security officers in any of the 137 polling stations across the constituency was armed, giving voters the free will to exercise their right to vote.
“Indeed, these security officers were positioned far away from the booths and did not in any way in the opinion of the commission serve as intimidation to incoming voters”.
She revealed that the incident did not take place in any of the polling stations in the constituency.
The EC boss disclosed this in reaction to assertions by CODEO that the presence of armed security officials intimidated voters at the various polling stations.
No Attacks On Police
She strongly dissociated the EC from the acts of violence that occurred at La-Bawaleshie and said a CODEO report which indicated an attack on a police officer by National Security personnel was fabricated.
“The commission’s check with its election officials, that is the presiding officers at the polling stations, as well as the District Electoral Officer in charge of the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency, goes contrary to CODEO’s assertion.
Mrs. Mensa disclosed that “the commission, therefore, condemns in no uncertain terms, attempts by sections of the society to link it with the alleged acts of violence. As a commission, our focus and our mandate is to conduct credible, transparent, fair elections that will uphold the will of the people as witnessed in all 137 polling stations at the constituency.”
According to her, the commission condemned the acts of violence that took place at the private residence of the parliamentary candidate of the NDC.
“As a commission, we see elections as a simple process that affords voters the free will in selecting their leaders in an atmosphere of peace. We, therefore, once again wish to dissociate ourselves from any acts of violence and to state that our security personnel, who were deployed to the 137 polling stations, were peaceful and did not engage in any acts of violence or any misconduct to mar the poll,” she stated.