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General News of Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Source: Myjoyonline.com

NPP fed NDC polling agents on election day – Botchwey Committee

The leaked Professor Kwesi Botchwey Committee Report says polling agents of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) were fed by the then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) on Election Day.

The 455-page report observed that the polling agents employed to protect the integrity of the exercise were left hungry, with no party executive readily available to address their concerns.

They were left with no option than to rely on food handed polling agents of the opposition party.

The Committee said some polling agents it interacted with seethed with “extreme anger and emotions” while narrating what happened on Elections Day.
An NDC polling agent, Mumin Razak confirmed to Joy News they were denied food and there was nobody they could talk to.

“Everybody was an ‘oga’, everybody was an ‘ogboro’,” he said of party executives.

The startling revelation re-echoes claims by some political experts that the NDC’s fatal loss in 2016 could partly be blamed on the mismanagement of campaign funds.

In page 32 of the Report, the Committee stated that the mobilization and distribution of logistics were unplanned and uncoordinated, leaving much room for suspicion and manipulation.

“There were widespread complaints about a general lack of logistics across the country to cater for the 2016 elections,” the report noted.
The poor handling of the campaign funds also impacted negatively on effective monitoring of the voting exercise across the country.

The Professor Botchwey Committee said some money meant for the monitoring of the elections “arrived on the eve” of the elections.
It cited Upper East and West, where it said Election Directors had to travel to the Northern Region to receive monies meant for the regional monitoring of the polls.

“In the Upper West Region, in particular, constituents complained that, as a result of the late arrival of the money for monitoring, the region was unable to monitor the elections in the region.”

There were also transportation glitches, despite the well-thought-out plan to convey party supporters to their various voting areas.

NDC National Organiser, Kofi Adams had promised the party’s Campaign Team in the heat of the polls that “adequate transport arrangements” have been made.
He also said some party members would be conveyed from the party headquarters in Accra to some polling centres to monitor the exercise and returned after the elections to take their allowances.
But the arrangement failed, the Committee said.

It explained the problem was caused by an “abuse of the arrangements by some unscrupulous party members who wanted to profit from the process.”