A political science lecturer at the University of Ghana, Dr Isaac Owusu-Mensah, has condemned the decision by the Electoral Commission to recount votes in this year’s general elections should the results be too close to call.
The Chairperson of the Commission on Thursday told the BBC that to avoid the wrong candidate is declared winner of the 2016 presidential election, it would do a recount if the results are close.
“Our elections in Ghana tend to be very close. If it is so close, it might be prudent to stop, inform everyone, do a total recount and be sure of what we are announcing finally,” the EC chairperson, Charlotte Osei explained.
But Dr Owusu-Mensah wants Mrs Charlotte Osei to retract her statement since she doesn’t have any basis as the returning officer of the presidential election to call for a recount of votes should the results be too close to call.
He argued the Commissioner perhaps meant to say she would call for a re-collation of the results and not recount as she asserted in the Thursday interview with the BBC.
“I think that probably she spoke out of the blue and therefore, she did not mean [to say] that…I will strongly propose that she should retract it and also not use the word recount because recount is a very dangerous word in elections,” he contended.
According to him, “if it’s close election, one of the parties will have to have the basis or the justification to argue that based on A, B, C, we think that the result must be re-collated not recounted”.
Speaking on 3FM, Dr Owusu-Mensah observed that it is dangerous for the EC to do a recount, noting that such practices have been the basis of electoral violence in parts of the African continent, “I feel very worried because other countries in Africa whereby electoral violence has erupted is from the concept of recounting. They should not always be putting the concept of recount in the minds of political parties who would be advocating for that” he said.