The Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) is not planning to have ballot papers for December’s presidential and parliamentary polls printed outside the country, its Director of Communications, Eric Kofi Dzakpasu, has said.
The General Secretary of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Kofi Asamoah-Siaw, had, after a court hearing into an application for abridgement of time by the EC in the case brought against it by the party for disqualification of its flag bearer, Dr Kwesi Nduom, from the upcoming presidential elections, alleged that the commission told the court it would print ballot papers for the 2016 elections in a foreign country and wondered why the commission would overlook local printing companies for such a task.
In a swift rebuttal by the EC, Mr Dzakpasu denied the allegation, saying there are no plans by the commission to print the papers outside the jurisdiction. He added that the commission, for all elections held in the Fourth Republic, had carried out the printing of ballot booklets within Ghana.
“We cannot print ballot papers abroad and we have not printed any ballot papers outside the country,” he explained on Accra News on Thursday October 20.
According to him, printing the papers outside would have required flying all the stakeholders – political party agents, security officers and others – who are mandated by law to be present, to the country where the papers would have allegedly been printed, an arrangement that, he said, would have presented several inconveniences.
Further, he said the law mandated the EC to let all players in the election be aware all arrangements for the elections – from the time and place of printing, the quantity of ballots to be printed, the documentation of the ballots, right through to the transportation of the papers to the regions to the constituency and district offices.
Mr Dzakpasu re-emphasised the commitment of the EC to abide by the laid-down regulations to ensure free and fair elections in the country.