General News Sun, 4 Dec 2016

Postponement of special voting is illegal - Peter Mac Manu

The campaign manager of the New Patriotic Party Peter Mac Manu has expressed disappointment in the Electoral Commission for what he believes is its consistent inability to obey its own laws.

He said on Multi TV/Joy FM's Newsfile Saturday, the latest evidence of the EC's lawlessness is the postponement of a special voting exercise after widespread problems were recorded.

The exercise is for professionals in the media, security and health services who will be required to work on the general voting day on December 7. Special Voting Photos

But analysts have indicated that this was the poorest organisation of the special voting exercise since it began in 1992.

The exercise meant for 127,875 had several incidents of the professionals including volunteering EC staff who could not find their names on the special voters list, partly due to last-minute changes in the rules.

The inconvenience was hard on those who travelled long distances to their voting centres only to find their names absent.

Early statistics from the EC shows, 92,231 were able to vote meaning more than 70% sucessfully participated in the process.

The EC has offered a second opportunity on Sunday for those who were unable to vote last Thursday. While Peter Mac Manu supports the decision for a second opportunity, he lamented that this opportunity is nonetheless an infraction of the law which could have been avoided had the EC been more diligent and professional.

He pointed to the Public Elections Regulation 36(1) 'Interruption or Obstruction of polls' which states the conditions under which an election can be postponed.

It includes in case of a natural disaster such as flooding or a human situation such as open violence or a mechanical situation such as a breakdown of electoral equipment.

"Every Ghanaian knows that nothing of these three happened so why did we postpone the elections?" he said.

Mac Manu wants the EC to apologise for the poor conduct of the exercise when it had enough time to have planned the exercise. He believes the mistakes were avoidable.

The NPP would feel vindicated by its constant criticism of the EC's level of preparedness for the December 7 polls. The NPP often used law suit to challenge the Electoral Commission's decisions and processes.

Veteran journalist Kweku Baako Jnr said the postponement was a matter of commonsense even if the specific law does not appear to allow for the decision.

"I think the law was made for man, not man for the law" Baako said

Source: Myjoyonline.com
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