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Politics of Sunday, 18 October 2020

Source: Class FM

Election 2020: 'I don't hate Jean Mensa but she's leading Ghana into a ditch' – Mahama

Former President John Mahama has said his criticisms of the work of the Jean Mensa-led Electoral Commission, is not borne out of hatred for her.

According to the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), he just wants the EC Chair and her colleagues at the EC to the right thing in the lead-up to the 7 December 2020 polls.

Speaking to party supporters at Abura, Cape Coast, Central Region where he is touring, the flagbearer of the biggest opposition party said: “You go and sack the old commissioner, bring new people and you don’t know what is happening”.

“I don’t hate Jean Mensa, I don’t hate Bossman Asare; all the commissioners, I don’t dislike them. But I want them to do their job well and that is why we have IPAC. IPAC is supposed to advise you and now you treat IPAC as if it’s an enemy. This is a warning to Ghanaians. If we don’t take care, the EC will lead us into a ditch”, Mr Mahama warned.

He also said everything the EC is doing points to an eventual flawed 2020 polls, the results of which, he reiterated, will not be accepted by the NDC.

Mr Mahama said the NDC’s qualms about the electoral process should not be interpreted as stirring up trouble.

"We're not troublemakers. We’re not troublemakers. We, NDC party, want peace. We want to make sure that all of us believe in this election so that if you win or lose, you’re prepared to accept it", Mr Mahama said.

"But when we say it, they think that we are just causing trouble. But this can lead this nation to chaos because I've said it that this occasion, December 7th, if this election is flawed, we will not accept it. We will not accept it. Who accepts a flawed election? Nobody", Mr Mahama insisted.

He observed that: "… Everything the Electoral Commission is doing is showing that we are heading to a flawed election".

Adducing evidence to buttress his point, Mr Mahama said: "The new voter roll they brought; with the software and hardware, according to them, is supposed to eliminate manual verification.

"They said the old voter register couldn't capture some people's fingerprints and if that is the case, you have to use manual verification and, so, they decided to add facial verification devices to the process.

"So, if they fail to capture the [fingerprints], then they would use the facial verification devices and if that, too, fails, then they would resort to manual verification.

"But they've brought in new BVRs. We've not tested them. They've not been tested.

"On election day, they are going to have BVRs there; you put your fingers on it, it says it doesn't recognise you; you put in your face, it says it doesn't recognise you, so, you're going to do manual verification.

"We're going to end up with more manual verification than we've ever had in the history of Ghana", Mr Mahama predicted.

He wondered why no-one is talking about it.

"And when we talk, everybody is quiet. When there's trouble, then they'll say: 'It is this person's fault', but we've given enough warning signals that the Electoral Commission is creating problems".

According to him, the problems that characterised the voter roll exhibition exercise are enough warning signs, which should get Ghanaians concerned.

"Look at this voter roll exhibition exercise, you can't find your name, names are missing; how can names be missing? We've done registration, we’ve done exhibition of register, sometimes they make a mistake with your name or your name is pushed to some other polling station.

"But with this, when you go to the polling station where people registered, 21,000 names missing.

"Now, she says: 'Oh, we found the missing names'. Where did the names go? Where did they go that you went and found them? She says: 'We found the missing names and it is left with only 7,000'. Even one name missing disenfranchises one Ghanaian.

"And, so, when we talk about these things, they think we are just trying to cause trouble but we want the right thing to be done. Now, we’ve done the filing of nominations without a certified register, so, I got people to sign my registration.

“If it turns out that they look at the registration of those people and their name is not on the voter register, is my nomination valid or invalid? It makes it invalid, through no fault of mine and when you say this, people think that you are making too much noise", Mr Mahama said.

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