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General News of Thursday, 3 November 2016


EC employing diversionary tactics to rig Dec. 7 polls – PPP

The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has claimed the recent actions, including the disqualification of its presidential nominee, by Ghana’s Electoral Commission, is a diversionary tactic geared towards rigging the December 7 general elections.

According to the party, the disqualification of Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom and the fall out of that is just a means to distract stakeholders from discussing pertinent issues related to the conduct of transparent and credible elections.

“It’s a deliberate scheme deployed by the state institutions, with the support of the referee, the Electoral Commission, to divert attention so that there will be opportunity for full rigging in the 2016 elections,” Policy Advisor of the party, Kofi Asamoah Siaw told journalists.

The EC on October 10 disqualified Dr Nduom and 12 other presidential nominees from contesting in this year’s December 7 presidential elections on various grounds, including errors and fraud.

The PPP challenged the decision by the EC at the Accra High Court on procedural grounds following which the Court on October 28 ordered the EC to give Dr Nduom the opportunity to correct all errors on his nomination forms.

But the EC has faulted the Court’s ruling and initiated moves to have it overturned by the Supreme Court.

Addressing a news conference in Accra Thursday, Mr Siaw alleged the chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mrs Charlotte Osei is doing the bidding of someone otherwise she wouldn’t have disqualified some presidential nominees.

“I think her interest is obvious. She’s doing the bidding of somebody, otherwise it doesn’t make any sense for the Electoral Commission…to be taking steps that deny people the opportunity to participate in the process. It is mind boggling that the EC will do something like that,” he said.

Mr Siaw said the current court cases have shifted attention from some germane issues that ought to be discussed in the last few weeks to the elections. He said it is strange that the EC has not disclosed when ballots will be printed and which company will be responsible for the printing.

“What is the proportion assigned to these companies and which companies are printing for which regions so that they have some responsibility for anything that goes wrong in any area,” he asked.

He said should the litigation go on for the next two weeks, which is likely to be so, “then you wake up one day, then you realize that we have only two weeks to go to the elections and then they will rush things through…we don’t know what is going to happen, we don’t have time to scrutinize it , we don’t have the time to establish the wrongs; the mistakes that are being done.

“When you don’t have that time to scrutinize, auditing becomes impossible so you can’t trace anything. So they rush things through and then they clear somebody; Kwadwo mensah has won the election. at that time what are you going to do” he asked.

Mr Siaw has, therefore, reiterated the party’s call on the National Peace Council, the Christian Council and the Office of the Chief Imam to break their silence over what they claim is the EC’s injustice against the PPP.

“When there is not justice you can’t have peace so don’t run away from the obvious demonstration of injustice and say this is political. If you refuse to talk about these issues then don’t come to us to participate in any peace games or whatsoever” he said.