President Nana Akufo-Addo has said Thursday’s referenda in some parts of the country to create six new regions were “free, fair and transparent” despite claims of ballot stuffing.
The president’s take on the referenda is in sharp contrast to what local election observer group, the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), said about Thursday’s exercise.
CODEO has cast doubt over the integrity of the referenda, saying turn-out figures at some polling stations were unusually high.
It also documented wide disparities and unusually high numbers of manual verification across various polling stations instead of biometric verification.
But in a congratulatory message Saturday on the results of the referenda, the president noted that the will of the people determined the outcome of the exercise.
“The new leadership of the Electoral Commission is to be commended for passing its first test by ensuring the holding of free, fair and transparent referenda. The security agencies and members of the media are also to be applauded for the invaluable roles played towards the success of this exercise,” he added.
Unverified videos on social media captured some EC officials thump printing ballot papers while another show a man in a voting booth thump printing multiple ballot papers.
The incidents appeared to have marred Thursday’s referenda with calls for the perpetrators to be brought to book and the EC boss to resign.
In a statement Friday evening, the EC says its attention has been drawn to the footage ad that it regional officers and security agencies have been contacted to verify the videos.
The statement, signed by the EC chairperson Jean Mensah, said the commission will not shield any staff, permanent or temporary who is found to have violated the law.
The commission also urged members of the public who have evidence of any wrongdoing to forward it to the police.
Source: Pulse Ghana