The Electoral Commission (EC)says the by-election held in the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency on Thursday went as planned with no hitches.
Jean Mensa, the EC Chairperson said the polling process was successful and none of the Commission’s officials encountered a challenge at any of the 137 polling stations in the constituency.
“At the end of the by-elections at the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency, the Electoral Commission is pleased to announce that the conduct of the polls in all 137 polling stations was peaceful, smooth and orderly.
“The EC staff and as well as the security agents at the polling stations conducted themselves in an orderly and professional manner,” Mrs Mensa said addressing the media at a press conference in Accra, Friday.
She added that all biometric verification devices deployed to the field worked efficiently and materials were not in short supply.
The EC chair added that the Commission is pleased with the outcome of the elections conducted at the polling centres.
Mrs Mensa congratulated all elections officials and security personnel deployed to all 137 polling centres to monitor the polls.
Elections violence and chaos
In a response to the violence and chaos that occurred at the La Bawaleshie Presby School polling centre, she disagreed with a report by the Coalition for Domestic Election Observer (CODEO).
CODEO had criticised the Commission for the low turn out which they blamed on the presence of masked men at the polling centre and violence that characterised the polling process.
But the EC denied knowledge of who the masked men were and delinked the Commission from the violence that occurred at La Bawaleshie.
Mrs Mensa denied the EC’s involvement in the development.
These masked men are alleged to have slapped Ningo-Prampram MP Samuel George
Describing the report as one-sided, the EC Chair said “on the allegation of a shooting incident at the La Bawaleshie area, the Commission rejects the attempts by the report of CODEO to link the Electoral Commission to the alleged incident at the private residence of the Parliamentary candidate of the NDC.
“The Commission wishes to state that the said shooting incident did not take place in any of the polling stations in the constituency and, therefore, did not in any way disrupt the conduct of the overall poll.”
On the allegations of intimidation by security personnel, she again denied the involvement of any officer deployed by the EC to monitor the polls.
“We wish to reject the assertion that the presence of unarmed Security, Immigration and Fire Service Officials disrupted the conduct of the polls.”
She stressed that none of the EC’s Security Officers in any of the 137 polling stations across the constituency were armed giving voters the free will to exercise their right to vote.
The Commission, therefore, cannot be blamed for the alleged acts of violence that occurred, she said adding, “these security officers well away from the booths and did not in any way in the opinion of the Commission serve as intimidation to voters.”
The EC Chair said while the Commission abhors violence and the alleged attack on the NDC’s candidate, it will not take the blame for anything that occurred outside the polling centre.