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General News of Thursday, 24 November 2016

Source: Myjoyonline.com

PPP, PNC, NDP election rigging fears baseless - EC

The Electoral Commission (EC) says fears expressed by three presidential candidates that the 2016 elections is set to be rigged are without any evidence or substance.

Deputy Director of Communications of the Commission Yusif Ayuba told Joy News Top Story, the EC has done nothing to give any credence to the claims by Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP); Dr. Edward Mahama of the People’s National Convention (PNC) and former first lady Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings of the National Democratic Party (NDP).

The three have accused the EC of using oppressive tactics to undermine their ambition.

They explain that their earlier disqualification by the EC robbed them of close to six weeks of campaigning opportunity as they challenged the move in court. By the time they were finally re-instated, they found there is alot of catching up to do.

"This has brought us untold hardships financially, emotionally and taken energy and precious time from our campaigns. The EC decided to utilize the regulations guiding the conduct of the 2016 elections as an oppressive tool to punish and deny us equal opportunity to campaign during the critical times of the campaign season," a statement by the candidates.

They also claimed that the EC has been inconsistent in the supply of information to the political parties on the number of voters registered for the special voting exercise.

They also referred to new allegation that the Ghana Police Service is adding more names to the list of professionals designated to vote a week before the December 7 general elections.

They said the deadline for the submission of the list of special voters for December 1 has passed and yet more police officers have been added to list.

"The question is which other groups of people have been allowed to add to the list after the deadline?", the statement said.

They finally said that election has witnessed the clearest ever abuse of incumbency on the part of the NDC and the use the State's security agencies and party thugs to intimidate other opponents. A free and fair election environment will require an atmosphere of fairness in the application of the EC's laws on political party funding.

But deputy Director of Communications Yusif Ayuba said he is not aware of any further inclusion on the list for special voters.

"I don't know about that issue...it hasn't come to my notice," he said.

He said the earlier disqualification of the aspirants was within the legal remit of the EC as was the ensuing court suits within the constitutional right of the affected politicians.

Yusif Ayuba revealed that the EC will be a meeting all political parties Friday where any concerns will be adequately addressed.