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General News of Thursday, 8 December 2016

Source: Myjoyonline.com

We don’t declare results collated by parties – EC boss

The Electoral Commission (EC) has pleaded with Ghanaians to exercise restraint as it collates results of the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections for onward declaration.

At a media briefing in Accra Thursday, EC Chairperson, Charlotte Osei, says the Commission will not be compelled to declare results of the Wednesday elections when the laid down procedures have not been exhausted.

She explained the Commission is yet to receive all the results from the 275 Constituencies in the country.

The two dominant parties namely the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP) have claimed victory in the presidential poll whose result is yet to be announced.

The NPP was first to hold a press conference to predict over 53 percent victory for its flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

The NDC held a counter news conference discrediting the figure put out by the NPP. It insisted it will not declare victory for President John Mahama because the Commission has asked for 72 hours for the announcement of the winner.

The parties have held two other press briefings in a manner the National Peace Council has described as unfortunate.

Although he decried the delay in the release of the poll results, Peace Council Chairperson, Professor Reverend Emmanuel Asante said the EC should be given the opportunity to carry its mandate without intimidation.

Mrs Osei who expressed the Commission's disappointed with the action of the NPP and NDC, said the EC will not declare results collated by any political party.

“It’s only been 24 hours and this year we’ve had more polling stations than we’ve ever had in previous elections,” she said, adding the Commission has the duty to ensure that results put in the public are accurate.

She parried claims that the Commission wants to tamper with the results faxed from the various constituency collation centers. "We cannot change the results, or manipulate it."

Mrs Osei added the Commission values accuracy in announcing polls results than speed.

"The duty we owe the people of Ghana is not to declare results quickly, but accurately," she said, adding "That is the oath we took."