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xxxxxxxxxxx of Thursday, 27 October 2016

Source: Myjoyonline.com

EC to declare results of December elections 72 hours after close of polls

Results of presidential and parliamentary elections would be announced within three days of casting of the ballot, the EC has announced.

EC Chairperson, Charlotte Osei, is confident the use of manual and electronic transmission of results will enable the Commission collate and declare results within 72 hours.

The Commission has been evaluating documents of telecom companies bidding for Virtual Private Network.

The secured network will enable results to be transmitted from 275 Collation Centers to the head office of the Electoral Commission.

Madam Charlotte Osei who was addressing members of the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs in Kumasi on Wednesday is confident results would be declared within 72-hours within voting.

“We are confident that we can still get all the results and declare within two maximum three days so we vote on December 7, by 10th of December, we get all the results announced", she stressed.

Based on recommendations of an evaluation panel, the EC was forced to cancel an earlier procurement process for Electronic Transmission System of election results in March this year.

This is because the Commission was not satisfied at demonstrations by two companies that bid for the project.

Madam Charlotte Osei acknowledges only the manual transmission is presently backed by law.

She however adds that the Commission will seek the support of the Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) to select a suitable telecom company for the implementation of the Electronic Transmission System alongside the manual system.

“We are now evaluating the tender of the telecom process. We will go back to IPAC and explain to them for consensus to be reached,” she explained.

Even before that consensus is reached, the EC seems to have found solace in a manual process which got tested in the four by-elections, including Atiwa, Abuakwa North and Abetifi. The results from the Collation Centers were loaded onto laptop which was later projected on a screen after political agents were satisfied with the results, they approved it.

Madam Charlotte Osei says the Commission in its resolve to improve on that have acquired many laptops and projectors.

Meanwhile, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has called for the speedy settlement of suits filed against the EC by disqualified presidential aspirations.

He says any attempt to delay or postpone this year’s elections as a result of the disputes could plunge the country into a constitutional crisis. Some presidential aspirants disqualified from this year’s elections have instituted legal actions against the Electoral Commission. Otumfuo wants collaboration among the EC, Chief Justice and the Attorney- General for speedy adjudication for sanity to prevail.