EC chair does not deserve award — AFAG

The Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) has expressed strong reservation over the shortlisting of Mrs Charlotte Osei for the Chatham House Prize.

Giving reasons for its reservation, AFAG stated that the Electoral Commission (EC) was dragged to court on a record 12 times under her leadership in less than 24 months.

According to AFAG, Mrs Osei was on the wrong side of all significant court litigations prior to the election, including those she initiated such as the correct interpretation of the Supreme Court ruling on ridding the voters register of ineligible persons as grounds for disqualifying presidential aspirants.

Those were contained in a statement issued to the press by AFAG in Accra last Wednesday.

Impunity

The statement said the impunity with which the EC Chair acted on several occasions and her blatant disregard for Supreme Court rulings against her outfit make her unfit and undeserving for the noble prize.

It said significant omissions in the provision of C194 left huge gaps in election transparency and independent poll results validation contrary to the recommendations contained in the Supreme Court ruling on the 2012 presidential election petition. This had to be corrected through litigation.

 An example is the mandatory signature of the returning officers of the EC on the official poll results and party agents’ access to the same document, the  statement said.

According to the statement, developments between the closing of the polls on December 7 and announcement of final election results on December 9, which brought the country to a state of apprehension and created needless tension, could have been completely avoided.

It said the EC delayed in releasing the presidential result  on the grounds that the IT department of the EC had been “compromised” and also alleged that there had been over-voting in the Ashanti Region that was being investigated but proved to be a delay tactic and false.

Voter turnout

It said the EC put out a blatantly wrong figure of 49 per cent as the interim voter turnout for the presidential poll, which was later debunked.

The EC’s own in-house software had such a weak security protocol that in the words of Mrs Osei: “We were forced to ignore the software and use manual collations.” Clearly this is not a hallmark of an award-winning performance. If any actor to the electoral process had raised concern, in concert with other issues raised, it might have been unnerving for the nation, considering that primarily, post-election activities are a key trigger to election violence.

It said Mrs Osei faulted profoundly when she refused to give access to the secure transmitted results, even as a read-only access. Many of the political party representatives found this behaviour unacceptable, since it appeared to be shrouded in secrecy and lacked transparency.

The statement concludes that Mrs Osei may have announced historic presidential elections results on December 9, but the many issues surrounding her administration could have occasioned unfortunate and regrettable occurrences. She fought and misrepresented many meaningful suggestions towards the peaceful election, which caused major embarrassment for her outfit.

The peaceful outcome of the 2016 general election was the collective effort and tolerance the political parties had for each other, as well as the goodwill that Ghanaians had enjoyed since the birth of the fourth Republic in 1992

credit:graphic.com.gh

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