Central Regional Minister, Kwamena Duncan has slammed the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) over their claims on the printing of ballot papers by the Electoral Commission (EC) for the December 7 elections.
The NDC has raised an objection to the EC allowing the Assembly Press, headed by a known member of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) to be part of firms printing the ballots.
The biggest opposition party further accused the Commission of suspiciously printing in excess of 150,000 and also alleged that it has failed to provide statistics on the ballot papers.
But the Electoral Commission has refuted the NDC claims in a press release stressing "the Electoral Commission finds it difficult to understand why the NDC would seek to cause fear and apprehension around a transparent and open process such as the printing of ballots. This is unacceptable".
"It has been a standard practice for the Commission to print ballot papers in excess of five percent (5%) to cater for instances such as spoilt ballots. This has been the practice since 1992 and the present Commission has not changed this policy. In line with this policy, all Printing Houses have been directed to print the 2020 ballot papers in excess of 5% for all thirty-eight thousand, six hundred and thirty (38,630) Polling Stations across the country. It is important to note that since 1992, ballot papers for both the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections are printed in booklets of 10, 25, 50 and 100 for all Polling Stations.
"This has always been the practice and the NDC is well aware of this. For the information of the General Public, all Political Parties have accredited Agents in all the Printing Houses who monitor and keep a 24-hour watch of the printing process. The transparency and openness of the process makes it impossible for any Printing House to manipulate and compromise the process as all printing is done in the full glare of the Agents of the Political Parties," the EC set the record straight.
The Electoral Management Body assured the citizenry that, "each ballot paper will be accounted for. Not one ballot paper will be included in a package that has not been accounted for. This will not happen. Our processes are open, transparent and robust and will remain so".
Addressing the issue on Wednesday's 'Kokrokoo' on Peace FM, Kwamena Duncan corroborated the statement by the EC.
He stated emphatically that there is no way the EC prints the ballot papers without the full participation and notice of all the qualified political parties.
He said, as part of measures to ensure transparency, each party is given a serial number that matches the serial numbers on the ballot boxes together with a special seal.
He added that the parties will immediately notice any breach to the ballots.
"Each booklet has all the ballot papers with their serial numbers which is not something new. Everybody who has been to the elections knows this process all this while," he stated.
He further explained why the EC prints the ballot papers in excess of 5 percent saying it is to cater for all contingencies during the elections.
He believed the NDC is making up claims as a ploy to psyche their members and supporters for a grand defeat in the elections.
"You cannot do it precisely the figure because you're printing the booklet in 25s, in 50s, in 100s and everybody knows this. So, this matter is complete bunkum. This is all the effort preparing the minds of the NDC people that I've lost but it wasn't my fault, so grant me another opportunity in 2024."