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General News of Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Source: Myjoyonline.com

I would need Superman powers to change election results - Charlotte Osei

The Electoral Commission (EC) has said it is impossible for the upcoming presidential and parliamentary polls to be rigged for any one political party.

EC Chairperson, Charlotte Osei says for results of the election to be altered for the four contesting political parties,she would need a "superman powers" to do that.

Speaking to traditional rulers of the Asanteman Traditional Council Wednesday, the EC boss said the Commission is working assiduously to avoid a repeat of the eight-month-long electoral dispute which engulfed the country after the 2012 general election.

The Commission's preparation for the general election has been an issue for many Ghanaians, considering that the plans to have the election held in November was thrown out by Parliament citing the unpreparedness of the Commission.

Another issue that is feeding into the unpreparedness of the Commission is the recent disqualification of 12 presidential candidates for failing to abide by the Constitutional Instrument (C.I.94).

The law governing the December 7 polls that directs that for nominations of candidates to be accepted, they have to get 432 valid voters endorsing their forms but the EC boss explained the disqualified candidates failed to meet that requirement due to some irregularities found on their forms.

The Commission is now battling lawsuits leveled against it by some of the political parties namely, the National Democratic Party (NDP), Progressive People's Party (PPP), and the All People's Congress (APC).

Many political pundits and social commentators had predicted the disputes in court if not handled properly could derail the upcoming election.

Minority leader, Osei Kyei Mensah had told Joy News that the decision by the EC to disqualify the 12 candidates might lead Ghana to the Nigerian situation where the 2015 election had to be postponed for six weeks.

But before the Asantehene, Otumfuor Osei Tutu II, the EC boss said the Commission is ready and committed to ensuring that the election pulls through without hitches.

She said the Commission as part of ensuring the credibility of the polls has introduced and implemented 27 electoral reforms which include the increasing of polling stations from 22,000 to 29,000.

The Commission would be using professionals to man the December 7 polls to forestall issues with documentation and processing, she said.

Mrs Osei said the use of the biometric and manual verification machines in the election would help to enhance its transparency.

She also added that "political parties would be at printing houses when the ballots are being printed and when they are being transported by the security agencies."

Considering the measures the Commission has put in place, she said what would be required is for the political parties and the electorates to work with the EC to understand the law and the processes.

"There is no way all of us at the Electoral Commission can change the results. It is nearly impossible for you to change the election results," she said.

"You have to be at 29,000 polling stations, you have to change the results on all the sheets of the party agents who are there and run to the coalition centers to change the results before coming to declare the results. Nana, I would need Superman powers to be able to do that," Mrs Osei said.