NDC Demands Independent Inquiry On Referenda

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The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has demanded an immediate independent inquiry on the conduct of the just-ended referenda to restore confidence in the country’s electoral process.

According to the Party, they were alarmed at the brazen violation of the electoral laws and the general vandalisation of due process and the principle of fairness that should govern the conduct of any credible election.

“Many Ghanaians have seen a viral video footage showing multiple voting by Electoral Commission (EC) officials themselves and others obviously recruited for the purpose.

“In addition to the video footage and several reports of wrongdoing by the EC during the conduct of the polls, we have noted a report by the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) in which they highlighted grave violations of our electoral laws, “Mr Peter Boamah Otokunor, Deputy General Secretary of the NDC said.

Mr Otokunor, speaking at a media briefing organised in Accra to highlight on some concerns over the conduct of the referenda on the creation of six new regions, said CODEO report confirmed reports of voter turn-out which could only be described as incredulous.

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He said in some instances, turn-out was as high as 99.7 per cent, which was most unlikely in any election in Ghana.

“CODEO also highlighted abnormal use of manual use of manual verification, sometimes as high as 58 per cent of all voters at a polling station,” he said.

“The Ghana Journalists Association has on its part, bitterly complained about the prevention of their members from observing the collation of results in the Oti region referendum.”

He said ‘taken together, those events make the just-ended referenda, the most shambolic elections in Ghana’s recent history.’

Mr Otokunor said in 2016 the NDC pledged in its manifesto to create five additional regions as part of its commitment to ensuring equitable development of all parts in the country.

He said though the NDC was denied the people’s mandate, “we persisted in the commitment by making available a trove of our party’s resources to support the referenda. Be that as it may, we respect the central principle which guided the need for the referenda”.

He therefore, congratulated the people from Oti, North East, Savannah, Ahafo, Bono East and Western North regions on attaining regional status and urged government to prioritise the needs of the newly created regions to give practical meaning to the outcome of the referenda.

The Deputy General Secretary said the NDC believed that the processes leading up to such an exercise must comply with acceptable standards and referenda held for that purpose, must also be in conformity with democratic and legal tenets.

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