I cannot rig an election even with my father as candidate-EC Chair


The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mrs. Jean Mensah, rubbished claims of her planning to rig the 2020 elections.

She says it would be impossible for her to rig even if the father was contesting.

She made the comments during a visit to Multimedia in the company of two other deputies – Dr. Eric Bossman Asare and Samuel Tettey.

According to her, Ghana’s electoral system is so intensely scrutinized and policed by the political parties that it is practically impossible to tamper with the process for the purpose of securing the desired outcome.

Former President John Mahama has said he cannot trust the EC in conducting free, fair and credible elections next year.

He says the EC’s work is shrouded in secrecy.

Mr. Mahama rose to the defense the Commission on many occasions when he was president and the then opposition New Patriotic Party repeatedly accusing the EC of bias.

“Let us give the EC the peace of mind to do its work, they have done it before and indeed our electoral commission is one of the best commissions in the whole world and we have confidence in them to be able to conduct an election and so let’s leave them peacefully to conduct the election,” he told Muslims in July 2016, barely four months before that year’s election which he lost.

The lady he appointed as EC Chairperson, Charlotte Osei, who presided over the electoral process then, was removed through a constitutional process and replaced by Jeane Mensah last year.

Mr. Mahama’s NDC has been haggling with the EC over the most arcane details of its processes leading to the 2020 elections.

The NDC’s Director of Elections, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, has argued forcefully that the decision to conduct the limited registration exercise at only district EC offices and select electoral areas, would disenfranchise many voters.

The limited registration exercise is meant to afford those who attained the voting age of 18 after the last registration exercise, to register to vote.

First-time voters who have, for whatever reasons, not registered in the past can get on the electoral roll during the registration which is scheduled to run from June 7 – 27, 2017.

Mrs. Mensah explained the decision to conduct the limited registration in only district offices was borne of a desire to remain financially prudent.

The mantra is judiciousness, she said.

According to her, conducting the exercise in all polling stations would cost the state $20 million dollars more.

What is worse, the equipment that would have been procured would run obsolete IT system and would be completely useless after the registration.

Reform:

The EC Chairperson said the Commission had overconcentrated on elections to the neglect of key functions related to governance, administration, finance, and procurement.

This has left the institution with weak systems.

Mrs. Mensah said the new administration is putting in place administrative systems that will eliminate ad-hoc decisions.

“In all aspects, there was no systems documentation of decisions and action” which she said created loopholes and leakages.

Staff morale is also low as some stagnated in the same position for decades, she regretted.

The EC is aggressively working on structuring it’s administrative, procurement, finance and legal departments to function efficiently, she stated.

By: rainbowradioonline.com with additional files from Myjoyonline

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