General News of Saturday, 5 November 2016
A private legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu, has warned Ghana’s Electoral Commission against plans to recount votes cast in this year’s December 7 general elections in the event the results become too close to call.
The Chairperson of the Commission on Thursday told the BBC that to avoid the wrong candidate is declared winner of the 2016 presidential election, it would do a recount if the results are close.
“Our elections in Ghana tend to be very close. If it is so close, it might be prudent to stop, inform everyone, do a total recount and be sure of what we are announcing finally,” the EC chairperson, Charlotte Osei explained.
This, however, Mr Kpebu believes, could trigger chaos, considering the tense atmosphere that characterizes elections in the country, saying “obviously, it is going to create a lot of problems, so for me, considering the way usually elections bring a charged atmosphere and emotions, the EC will be better advised not to attempt”
He argued that recounting of election results are usually done at the various collation centres when a candidate have reasons to doubt the results, hence wonders why the Commission would want to arrogate onto itself that responsibility.
“…Where the candidates indicate that they are not willing to have a recount, I think that it will be better for our body politic that the EC will stay away from such a measure. Let us not engage in any conduct that will give people the opportunity to cause some troubles,” Mr Kpebu warned.
Meanwhile the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has challenged the EC’s ‘too close’ argument, pointing out that there is nothing like too close or two wide in the election results.
It’s spokesperson, Peter John Larvie, argued that if the votes are counted properly in the presence of key stakeholders and the results are not challenged by any of the candidates, the EC has no business whatsoever in recounting the votes.
“…once that processes have been done very well, we cannot say it is close, there is nothing like too close or too wide, even if it is a point zero zero one or two, it’s still a win,” he contended