Head of Operations at the Forestry Commission, Charles Owusu has waded into discussions regarding the printing of ballot papers by the Electoral Commission for the December 7 polls.
The printing of the ballot papers has generated controversies as the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has accused the Commission of engaging in some underhand dealings.
The party alleged, at a press conference on Sunday, November 1, 2020, that the EC is printing about 150,000 surplus ballots aside from the 5 percent required excess ballot papers per polling station.
“By convention and practice, the EC prints an extra 5 percent of the total registered voters in each polling station to cater for spoiled ballots but what is surprising this time is that the EC is rather printing an additional 5 percent of the total registered voters per constituency in the total number of ballot papers to be printed. What this translates into is that more ballot papers are being printed in excess of the 5 percent extra ballot papers required for the polling station. From the ballot statistics from the printing houses as coming from the EC, we (NDC) have analyzed the figure from 13 regions and observed that there is an excess of over 150,000 ballot papers been printed beyond the extra 5% required.”
“This happened at the Assembly press which is one of the contractors printing the ballot papers, and we (NDC) also found out that, the Assembly Press is printing additional ballot papers at a different location on the blind side of the agents of the political parties. The NDC is completely upset with the irregularities as the MD of the Assembly Press who is an appointee of the President was an aspirant who contested the NPP 2020 parliamentary primaries in the Nkawkaw constituency and the Convener of Let My Vote Count Alliance, a pressure group of the NPP”, the NDC stated.
But Charles Owusu has questioned the logic in the NDC’s allegations.
Reacting to the issues, Charles Owusu wondered how the Electoral Commission printing ballot papers amounts to election rigging.
He told host Nana Yaw Kesseh on Peace FM’s ‘Kokrokoo’ that the EC printing ballots in surplus is a normal practice to cater for any exigencies that may occur during the elections and asked the NDC and their Presidential candidate, John Dramani Mahama if this is the first time they have witnessed the EC print ballot papers in excess.
“Are the political parties not present during the printing of the ballot? If the Electoral Commission had an ill motive to disadvantage someone to ensure somebody else become a victor, then the law wouldn’t permit witnesses during the printing of the papers. When the printing is done too, the political parties are permitted to record it and the elections are held at the polling stations where the parties representatives are also present. So, how come when the Electoral Commission prints the ballots and there is a surplus, it translates into the rigging.”
He cautioned Mr. John Mahama and the NDC to stop leveling baseless allegations against the EC.
Directing his message specifically to Mr. Mahama, Charles Owusu said; “Presidency is not child’s play. The presidency is not for the experiment. The presidency is serious business . . . We’re not training people how to combat. This is not war”
Source: Ameyaw Adu Gyamfi/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana
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