EC Returning Officers Tasked For Presidential Elections, Neglect Parliamentary Poll

Jean Mensah, EC Chairperson

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) says it has picked up intelligence indicating that the Jean Mensah-led Electoral Commission has asked all Returning Officers of the Electoral Commission (EC) to concentrate on sending the results of the Presidential election to the EC Headquarters and ignore the Parliamentary polls.

According to the NDC, the instruction is part of the moves by Jean Mensah and the EC to rig the presidential election for Akufo-Addo.

“We have gathered intelligence that the Returning officers have been asked to focus on the results of the presidential elections and send them ahead of that of the Parliamentary Elections. If this is true, then the EC is set to create confusion after the elections.” the Director of Elections of the NDC, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah alleged.

According to him, the EC’s announcement that results of the polls will be announced within 24 hours after completion of voting is impracticable as it traditionally has taken several days to complete collation and submit results after voting.

After the close of polls, the ballots are sorted and counted at every polling station and recorded on the statement of poll. The statement of poll is signed by both party agents and the presiding officer. The results of the polling stations are then sent to the constituency collation centres for collation of results by the Returning Officer. Before the returning officer can declare the results, the Officer must see all the individual results from all the polling stations.

This process cannot be predictable, the NDC noted and wondered why the EC is insisting it will call the elections 24 hours after voting.

“… before the Electoral Commissioner who is the Returning Officer for Presidential Elections can declare the results, she must receive all the results from all 275 constituencies. Apart from the constituency collation of results, the Electoral Commission has introduced another layer at the Regions for the collation of results at the regional level.

“We, therefore, find it strange announcement by the Electoral Commission that it will declare presidential election results within 24 hours after the close of polls,” the NDC quizzed. 

“We, therefore, wish to caution the EC not to be in indecent haste to create any confusion over the declaration of results. What the EC is doing now is raising people’s expectations unnecessarily,” Elvis Afriyie Ankrah said.

Also, he pointed out that the EC’s sudden decision to announce the results within 24 hours deviates from its own earlier promise.

“As part of the comedy of inconsistencies that dent the credibility of the EC, the EC earlier on announced that the results of the elections will be announced by 10th December. In a dramatic departure from this announcement, Dr. Serebour Quarcoo subsequently announced on 18th November that the results will be declared by close of day on 8th December barely 24 hours after the close of polls. These inconsistencies leave doubt as to whether the EC should be taken as a serious institution,” said Mr. Afriyie.


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