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Politics of Friday, 25 December 2020

Source: Faisal Mustapha, Contributor

7 CSOs petition UN, Foreign Mission over election results dispute

Ghanaians went to the polls on December 7, 2020 Ghanaians went to the polls on December 7, 2020

Leaders of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) including Anchoring Democracy Advocacy Movement Ghana (ADAM-GH), have petitioned Head of Foreign Mission in the country over what they described as misrepresentation of election results and the role of Ghana Armed Forces and other security agencies played in the killing and maiming of innocent Ghanaians for political power.

Other CSO's include Care for Free and fair Elections Ghana “CARE”GHANA, CFF-Ghana, Democratic Credentials Network Ghana, Back Bone of Good Governance, African Center for Health Policy Research and Analysis (ACH-PRA) and Grassroots Mobilizers Network.

The petitioners stated that the appointment of the current Electoral Commissioners in Ghana, some section of Ghanaians including CSOs, political actors, governance experts and election management experts among others raised several concerns regarding the credibility of the state institution (EC) to conduct free and fair elections in Ghana especially the 2020 general elections due to certain unilateral decisions taken by the commission without engaged participation of key stakeholders.

They added that the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC), which is a platform for consensus-building among political parties and the EC has not been effectively utilized by the current EC resulting in suspicions.

Below is Un-edited Petition By The Leaderships of CSO's:

24th December 2020

The Head of Foreign Mission

Ghana, Accra

West Africa

Your Excellency,

*CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS (CSOs) PETITION ON THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION'S MISREPRESENTATION OF ELECTION RESULTS AND THE ROLE GHANA ARMED FORCES AND OTHER SECURITY AGENCIES PLAYED IN THE KILLINGS AND MAIMING OF INNOCENT GHANAIANS FOR POLITICAL POWER.*

*INTRODUCTION:*

We, the leaders of CSOs including Anchoring Democracy Advocacy Movement Ghana (ADAM-GH), Care for Free and fair Elections Ghana “CARE”GHANA, CFF-Ghana, Democratic Credentials Network Ghana, Back Bone of Good Governance, African Center for Health Policy Research and Analysis (ACH-PRA) and Grassroots Mobilizers Network, IN EXERCISE of our Sovereignty as a people of Ghana under Article 1(1) of the 1992 Constitution, and in further exercise of our natural and inalienable right to demand responsible governance, which shall secure for ourselves, and posterity the blessings of liberty, equality of opportunity and prosperity; AND IN SOLEMN declaration and affirmation of our commitment to; Freedom, Justice, Probity and Accountability; The Principle that all powers of Government spring from the Sovereign Will of the People; The Rule of Law; The protection and preservation of Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms, Unity and Stability for our Nation; Do humbly wish to bring to your attention worrying happenings in Ghana after the 2020 election debacle.

*PRE-ELECTIONS PERIOD:*

Your Excellency, as you may be aware, periodic ‘free and fair’ elections are the heart and soul of any fledgling democracy of which Ghana’s democratic enterprise is no exception. Article 21 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in December 1948, famously set the standard: *‘The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage’*

It is worth noting that following the appointment of the current Electoral Commissioners in Ghana, some section of Ghanaians including CSOs, political actors, governance experts and election management experts among others have raised several concerns regarding the credibility of the state institution (EC) to conduct free and fair elections in Ghana especially the 2020 general elections due to certain unilateral decisions taken by the commission without engaged participation of key stakeholders.

For instance, the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC), which is a platform for consensus building among political parties and the EC has not been effectively utilized by the current EC resulting in suspicions. Also, the dismissal of Mrs. Charlotte Osei former Chairperson of the Electoral Commission was suspected by Ghanaians to have been purposely done to manipulate the 2020 elections.

The processes leading to the 7th December, 2020 elections were characterized with some irregularities that gave an undue advantage to the NPP and a platform to manipulate the electoral processes. This led to some disagreements between the Electoral Commission on one side, some CSOs and opposition political parties on the other side.

The chronology of events dictated an attempt by the EC to manipulate the 2020 election.

This commenced with the compilation of the new voters register which was met with stiff opposition. CSOs and the Inter Party Resistance against New Voters Register made up of minority political parties raised concerns about the EC’s decision to change the existing Biometric Voter’s Register that according to the EC’s own words was credible.

As part of the reasons adduced by the EC for the need for a new register were over-bloating, ghost names on the register, names of minors and foreigners among others.

However, after the registration exercise it became obvious that the new register had more problems compared to the existing register.

After the compilation of the new voters’ register the electoral commission announced that the new register was saddled with minors and foreigners. Interestingly, the new voter’s register had 162,297 more registered voters on it than the old register which we were told was bloated.

Before going for the new registration, our total voter population according to the EC, stood at 16,845,439 registered voters. By the completion of the new registration exercise and the exhibition exercise, the voter population now stands at 17,007,026.

The use of illegal document by the EC is believed to have put in place a grand scheme to manipulate the elections.

The EC was cautioned over its refusal to use the C.I. 127 a document passed by parliament for the 2020 elections and demanded that it desist from perpetuating illegality in the processes leading the elections.

The C. I. 127 presented to parliament provided separate spaces for recording the number of voters manually verified and number of voters biometrically verified. Many argued that EC’s refusal to use the C. I. 127 was a calculated attempt by the EC to arrive at our current position.

Your Excellency, to add to the above, eligible Ghanaians voters were physically prevented from accessing registration centers and those in queues were physically removed in an attempt to prevent them from registering and subsequently participating in the 2020 elections.

Creation of illegal polling centers in the registration period after all registration centers had been gazetted was part of a grand scheme deployed by the EC to manipulate the elections. EC also attempted to remove over 300,000 names from the register which was noticed at the point of exhibition and demanded for their reinstatement.

Later, the EC announced that it had deleted over 32,000 names from the register as a result of multiple registration and registering after the stipulated period. This action by the EC denied many eligible Ghanaians in the Voter Region specifically Ketu South constituency preventing them from exercising their constitutional right.

*ELECTIONS PERIOD*

Voting at the polling centers went smoothly and peacefully as well as counting at the end of polls. However, there were some orchestrated violent incidents perpetrated by state security namely the national security, police and military that claimed the lives of eight innocent and unarmed members of the opposition National Democratic Congress NDC marring the rather peaceful elections.

Several others including a journalist had been left with life threatening wounds. This comes to question the professionalism and impartiality of the National Security, Ghana Police Service and the Ghana Armed Forces who shot these innocent civilians. The leading opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is disputing the election results.

The NDC claims that the results declared by the Electoral commission (EC) is flawed and does not reflect the facts on the face of the pink sheets. The EC admission of mistake in the figures it declared gives credence to NDC’s claim, as a result it had since revised the presidential election results on six different occasions.

While in some cases results for the NDC’s presidential candidates who is the former President Mr. John Dramani Mahama were swapped with that of H.E. Nana Akuffo Addo the President and presidential candidate for the New Patriotic Party NPP. In other cases both Nana Akufo-Addo and John Mahama’s votes were padded.

In the Ashanti Region for instance, President Nana Addo’s votes was padded with 236,526 votes representing 15% and that of John Mahama with 69,434 representing 11.89%. Given a clear advantage to the president and candidate of the New Patriotic Party H. E. Nana Akuffo Addo. There were also issues of over-voting in some polling centers in the Ashanti and Eastern Regions known to be strong holds of the ruling party.

The registration of voters for the compilation of the new voter’s register witnessed the removals of names from the register during the voter exhibition exercise.

It is evidently clear that, since the assumption of office by Madam Jean Mensah the Electoral Commissioner and her deputies, no exercise has been executed successfully without error and anomalies having occurred.

We least expected such errors, anomalies and mistake to occur in the December 2020 elections but unfortunately for Ghana, Jean Mensa declared elections results through a recorded video while the coalition of the elections results was still on going. She subsequently changed the results 7 times after declaring the president as winner of the December elections.

Truth be told, the actions and inactions of the EC during the electioneering and post-electioneering periods lay credence to the grave concerns raised by the Ghanaian people.

SECURITY INFRACTIONS, BRUTALITIES AND VIOLENCE:

THE FOLLOWING NAMES ARE THE UNARMED CIVILIANS INCLUDING WOMEN AND CHILDREN WHO WERE SHOT TO DEATH BY GHANA ARM FORCES AND POLICE ADMINISTRATION.

1. Tajudeen Alhassan 39 years old man from Techiman South constituency in the Bono Region of Ghana.
2. Abdala Ayaric 18 years old boy from Techiman South constituency in the Bono Region of Ghana.
3. Samira Zakaria 14 years old girl from Savelugu in the Northern Region of Ghana.
4.Rita Otuo 15 years old girl from Odododiodio Constituency in the Greater Accra Region.
5. Ibrahim Abass 30 years old man from Ablekuma Central constituency in the Greater Accra Region.
6. Emmanuel Dompra 36 years old man from Odododiodio Constituency in the Greater Accra Region.

Your Excellency, it is very sad that, the Ghana Arm forces and Ghana Police Service who takes part in United Nations (UN) Peace keeping mission and suppose to be protecting the lives of women and children, unfortunately turn round killing these same helpless poor and innocent women and children and the rest just to secure Political power.

As a CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATION, we are appealing to Your high Office to intervene and find Justice for the above mentioned lost souls. The Ghana Arm forces should come out and justify the killing of these innocent women and children and the rest for the whole world to know their crime that led to taking away their lives from them.

In fact, the 2020 elections in Ghana was characterized with fear, tensions and anxiety as a result of the sequence of event preceding the 7th December, 2020 elections. The conduct of the Electoral Commission (EC) culminated with scattered incidences of violence across the country.

It was evidently clear that during the recent voter registration exercise, violent activities of party hoodlums was on the increase. It is important to note that electorates in a number of constituencies including Banda in Bono, Ketu South in Volta, Ahafo Ano North & South in Ahafo, Sekyere Afram Plains in Ashanti, Nkwanta South, Akan, all in Oti, Asuogyaman, Atiwa East in Eastern, Upper Denkyira East and West, Assin North, Central and South, Awutu Senya East (the shooting incidence by the MP, Hon. Hawa Koomson), Weija Gbawe (the intimidation and beating of EC officials at Heater Hill Top Gbawe Zero) Agona West and East all in the Central Region and many others across the nation recorded one violent activity or the other.

The combined efforts from the Ghana Police Service, Ghana armed forces, the National Security, the Fire Service, Ghana immigration Service, Ghana Customs Service which formed the National Elections Security Task Force provided security in all 38,622 polling centers, 275 collation centers and 16 regional collation centers set up by the EC.

The presence and professionalism of the security officers at the polling centers contributed to the maintenance of peace and smooth voting process during voting periods.

Unfortunately, eight unarmed civilians gathered at the Ablekuma Central, Techiman South and Odododiodoo constituency collation centers to witness the collation of election results were short and killed for no apparent reason.

The unprofessionalism demonstrated by the security officers at these collation centers mutilated the good work done by the National Election Security Task Force.
To us, the alleged integration of party vigilantes into the regular state security architecture has however lowered the standards and professionalism of our security services. Normally, such violence are perpetrated by party supporters.

However, today, the eight (8) unarmed civilians killed by uniform security personnel who are by law mandated to protect lives, properties and territorial boarders against external aggression. We therefore humbly request for the immediate intervention by the UN as Ghana's ARMY and Police play key roles in the UN Peace keeping missions globally.

Finally, as a Coalition of CSOs that anchors proper democratic principles, promotes free, fair and transparent elections, ensuring good governance and fight against corruption, We humbly call on your high offices to urgently intervene in Ghana's democratic process and request that you impress upon the Electoral Commission to do a re-collation to ascertain the true winner of the 2020 elections to deepen our democracy and ensure the preservation of our peace.


Signed by the under-listed Organizations:

1. ADAM-GH
2. “CARE” GHANA
3. CFF-GHANA
4. AFRICAN CENTER FOR HEALTH POLICY RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS (ACH-PRA).
5. BACK BONE FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE
6. DEMOCRATIC CREDENTIALS NETWORK GHANA
7. GRASSROOTS MOBILIZERS NETWORK

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