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General News of Friday, 4 January 2019


New regions referendum: Jean Mensa scales hurdle

Perhaps the new Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Jean Mensa, did not expect her baptism of fire to come so early. Even before she could adjust herself on the hot seat of managing elections in the country, the NDC-hated referendum over new regions came knocking on her office.

Only a few heads get tested so early into their new appointments. It was as though her confirmation depends upon how she manages this subject in which the opposition threw in all their spanners to render it impossible.

Fortunately they failed and she succeeded. She coordinated uneventfully, the decisions of Ghanaians who know better than managers of NGOs sitting in the comfort of their offices in Accra what is good for them. There were neither shortages of logistics nor partiality on the part of the EC whose independence stood them apart from others who had many questions to answer about their stewardship.

For a lady being at the helm of the country’s foremost presidential debate series, she could not be distracted by mischief-makers who continue to give her a bad name so they can hang her.

It was unsurprising when at the end of the successful referendum, fruitless efforts on the part of same political killjoys sought to pour scum on the management of the referendum.

Such outright envy is becoming one too many by such elements. We observed rather shockingly a cooked up so-called thumb-printing of ballot papers by persons whose faces were hardly noticeable.

Important details such as the polling stations and even the proof of the dumping of the so-called thumb-printed ballot papers into the repositories were expectedly missing as in such reprehensible political maneuvers mastered by the NDC. What shows that the thumb-printing were intended for the ‘NO’ vote anyway?

That is the feature of such social media pranks intended only to rob successful exercises of this importance the deserving shine.

It was exciting to observe the EC swiftly responding to the pranks; directing the unknown persons circulating the ghost-like choreograph to the Police whose duty it is to deal with such deviations.

The Coalition of Election Observers (CODEO) issued their findings but unfortunately jumped rather subtly into the fray of the unsubstantiated choreographs by the reference. It was instructive though that they could not substantiate the lame charge which made the reference rather unnecessary unless mischief was intended.

Those who sit in the comfort of their offices in Accra and think they should think for our compatriots in the areas where the referendum was held should come of it.

The NDC who have led the charge behind the curtains have eventually emerged with a press conference by and large attacking the integrity of the referendum questioning for instance, the large turnout.

The voters were unusually charged and so ignored the odds and came out to vote in their numbers if they care to know. They have unwittingly let out one of the rounds in their arsenal during the press conference: attack a revision of the voters’ register, a subject which gives the opposition party insomnia.

When it becomes proper for the voters’ register to be reviewed, so shall it be no matter whose ox is gored. Such threats from the NDC constitute hot air only. Kudos once more to Madam Jean Mensa and her team! She has come to restore the integrity of an independent EC.