General News of Thu, 31 Mar 201615
Don’t declare election results – EC warns media houses
The Electoral Commission (EC) has cautioned media houses against declaring the winner of the presidential race in the November polls.
The EC said election results would be projected on screens for people to know what is going on, but insists media houses should not arrogate onto themselves, the powers of the EC to declare the victor of the presidential poll.
Speaking at a Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) workshop in Accra Thursday March 31, under the theme: ‘Responsible Reportage for Election 2016’, Deputy Commissioner in Charge of Administration at the EC, Georgina Opoku Amankwa, said: “There is a tendency that this year, for instance, we are going to project all the results on screens, so you will see it all over. You [media] have the right to report on that but you do not have the right to declare a winner, especially in the presidential election”.
“As for the constituency level, maybe you meet party agents with their statement of poll duly signed and everything, it means it is an authentic document, so, you can go ahead and, for instance, say for this constituency this person has won. But with the presidency, we need to collate all those figures at the head office before a declaration is made. But there are times that you sit in your radio stations just calling the figures from the constituencies and what have you, and then you add up and you think that is it.”
The workshop formed part of activities being undertaken by GIBA to sensitise its members and the general public on the need for accurate and issue-based reportage in the lead up to, during, and after the November polls.