Blame Political parties for by-election chaos, not us – EC
The Electoral Commission on Friday blamed the leadership of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) for the violence that characterised the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election.
Violence marred the by-election held on Thursday, leading to the shooting of six people at the Baweleshie polling station.
No deaths were recorded, as the Inspector General of Police (IGP) David Asante-Apeatu ordered a swift investigation into chaos.
Addressing the media in Accra on Friday the chairperson of the Electoral Commission Jean Mensa disassociated the commission from the violence, warning of a grand scheme to link the Commission to the troubling development.
“It seems as if there’s an attempt to link the commission with violence. The question we should be asking ourselves is that those complaining the most ‘na’ who cause ‘am’?” Mensa said to the press.
“It’s not the ordinary resident going to vote, or the ordinary man or woman driving in their car or walking on the street. We know that the violence stems from the political parties,” Mensa observed, stressing “I mean what happened yesterday wasn’t caused by the electoral commission neither the media.”
Urging the civil society to stand up to the politicians, Mensa assured the Commission’s resolve to supervise over free, fair and credible elections in the country.
“We are prepared to ensure that elections are credible, we have credible registers, we have credible processes, independent-minded officials who cannot be used on Election Day and then our processes are transparent,” she said.
“When we talk about violence let’s hit the nail right on the head. Let’s address it to those who are causing it. Let’s stand up against it and let’s say no to it,” Mensa pleaded passionately.
Mensa also reacted to a wide range of issues that stemmed from the violence-ridden by-election including the Minority in Parliament’s outright rejection of the result.
Speaking to Journalist on the development the Minority leaders said it “will pass as a blot on the conscience of our democratic evolution with what was observed and what has been appropriately reported.”
“We, therefore, are unable to accept even the outcome of the election as one which was credible and one which was free and fair.
The violence associated with the conduct of the election in our strongest view cannot produce a Member of Parliament unless that Member of Parliament wants to be a product of a violent outcome of an election. It tells even in the outcome of the election,” Iddrisu said.
Reacting to minority’s assertion that the low turnout invalidates the integrity of the results, the EC said is it not aware of any law that annuls result on the basis of low turnout.