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Politics of Thursday, 18 August 2016

Source: Class FM

Vote buying: NDC, NPP reject CDD report

Both the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) have rejected a report by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) which says they are engaged in vote buying.

After a survey it conducted, the CDD found that 51 per cent of Ghanaians believed that the NDC was engaged in vote buying while 32 per cent felt that the NPP used various ways to coerce people to vote for them.

According to the pre-election survey, generally, the respondents of the survey abhorred vote-buying and indicated that it was wrong and punishable.

The survey also revealed that about 50 per cent of Ghanaians believed the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana would announce wrong results for the December 7 polls.

Even though about 60 per cent believed the EC was neutral, one-third of the respondents held the view that their votes would not be counted.

This was based on a survey conducted across the country with a sample size of 2,400 respondents.

Senior Research Fellow of the CDD Dr Enam Selormey, who presented the results at a stakeholder meeting in Accra on Thursday August 18, revealed that the survey was conducted between July 2 and July 18.

Twelve per cent of the respondents indicated that the use of violence was justified if intended for a good cause.

Executives of CDD explained that the survey would inform security institutions and other stakeholders about what was happening among voters and plan in that regard.

Responding to the findings, however, the NDC’s National Organiser and Campaign Coordinator for the party’s 2016 campaign team told Class91.3FM’s 505 news programme that the NPP was to blame for the perception that political parties buy votes. According to him, the NPP has been buying votes all the time and so the CDD’s findings have merely reinforced the role of the “irresponsible opposition” in vote-buying.

The NPP’s Director of Elections, Martin Adjei-Mensah Korsah, on the other hand, said a chunk of the party’s campaign funding comes from ordinary Ghanaian voters and, thus, wondered why the party would use that same money to buy votes.

“…I’m yet to see any single evidence…” Mr Korsah said, adding that the survey findings are “true” of the NDC but not of the opposition.

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