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Senior statesman and former Rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Prof Stephen Adei, is of the opinion that Teachers should be the only people overseeing Ghana’s election process at the polling stations.
“I believe that the decision not to allow teachers to be polling station officials was wrong. I hope it was not mischievous," Prof Adei said on Friday in reaction to a directive from the Ghana Education Service, which barred Teachers from being part of the polling process, prior to the 2012 general elections.
His view is to support the argument that the polling station officials who have been overseeing elections in the country are not competent enough to handle the technical details.
The Supreme Court, on August 29, 2013, upheld the victory of President John Mahama in the December 2012 general elections following an 8-month-long hearing of a petition filed by the presidential candidate of the main opposition New Patriotic Party Nana Akufo-Addo, his Running Mate Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and the party’s Chairman at the time, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey.
At the hearing, it was highlighted that one of the difficulties in determining the exact number of votes collated was due to the fact that polling station officials did not fulfill their obligations effectively.
According to Prof Adei, the 2012 elections would have gone on smoothly if competent hands were put in charge.
“The reason the EC gave was that they should be in the classrooms. For goodness sake, the results of WASSCE and BECE are worse than the past year and two years so there is nothing really to show” that excluding Teachers from the process was beneficial to the pupils and students.
“The only group of educated people we have of which we can get sufficient numbers to man our polling stations are Teachers and Nurses," Prof Adei said at a forum organised by policy Think IMANI Ghana to commemorate the first anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling on the election petition case.
Stephen Adei said he saw the development as a deliberate attempt by the GES to deny Ghanaians the best election process.
“I would like to appeal to the Ghana Education Service, who allowed themselves to be used as a surrogate to deny the competent people to oversee our election processes to not...come again with the same excuse.”
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