The Electoral Commission disagrees with queries that there were armed men at any of the polling stations during the recent violence that marred the by-elections at Ayawaso West last month.
Her comments, made before the Emile Short Commission Friday morning, are in sharp contrast to the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers’ (CODEO) reports and other admissions by security chiefs who appeared before the Commission suggesting that some personnel were armed during the elections for a special assignment.
“There were no armed men who were manning any of the polling stations,” she said.
Asked whether there was any evidence of intimidating presence of security presence she said “That is not true. I had the opportunity to visit about 15 polling stations and there were no armed men. Nobody has reported the presence of intimidating armed men.”
“I still stand by the reports we have received,” she insisted.
She further added that “shooting did not occur at the polling station.”
On the way forward to forestall peaceful elections in coming elections, she is asking political parties to do away with vigilantism.
“Our parties must do away with their vigilantism. And the citizens must condemn it.”
She has also committed to engage in a lot more public education and engagement with security services prior to elections.
“We will engage in a lot of public education and we will continue to engage with the security to ensure peaceful elections,” she said.
The Emile Short-led Commission is investigating the circumstances leading to violent clashes at La Bawaleshie in the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency in the early hours of January 31.
Armed men stormed the residence of the NDC candidate, Delali Brempong.
The Minister of State in charge of National Security said the men were deployed on intelligence that arms were being stockpiled in the house.
He, however, admitted before the Commission of Inquiry on Thursday that the operatives did not succeed in retrieving any arms.