The Western Region director of the Electoral Commission (EC), has condemned the illegal decision of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and its Campaign Manager, Peter Mac Manu that the party was going to declare the November 2016 results, instead of the statutory body.
Speaking to Radio Maxx, Steve Opoku Mensah, said in strong terms that “political parties have no right to declare election results” because “Election results are always declared by Electoral Commission of Ghana and not political parties.”
Nana Akufo-Addo’s Campaign Manager, Peter Mac Manu, had told an NPP gathering in the Western region that the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition, would declare its own results in the November polls, sparking fear in the country.
“…The IGP cannot stop us. Whether you are the Electoral Commission, whether you are a police or security officer, whether you are a polling agent, whether you are a chief, you cannot stop NPP from declaring results,” he said.
But reiterating the mandate of the EC, Mr. Mensah said “Election results are always declared by Electoral Commission of Ghana and not political parties.”
The Western Region EC boss, explained that though political parties, could collate their own results to determine the party that is winning, they do not have the power to make declarations.
“What they can do is that if there is a mistake on our [EC officials] part they can draw our attention to that and the correction will be effected,” he added.
The Deputy General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Koku Anyidoho, has said the (NPP) would not be allowed to declare results in the 2016 elections.
According to him, the EC, is the only constitutionally mandated body to declare electoral results in the country and will therefore be improper if any other body is allowed to declare the results.
Reacting to the comments on Accra-based Okay FM, the NDC firebrand, said the NPP campaign manager, must admit that he erred and apologise for the statements.
“If after careful reflection Mac Manu has realised that he made a mistake, he should just admit and apologise.
“The truth is that the EC is the only body allowed to declare results and so the NPP will not be allowed to declare the results. Let’s not forget that they have done it before. In 2004, the late Jake Obitsebi Lamptey did it but this time around that will not happen because the law does not allow it,” he said.
The NPP Campaign Manager, appears to be backtracking as he denies the various quote attributed to him in the media that his party would defy authority in the country, including the EC, to declare its own election results during the General Elections in November.
According to Mr. Mac Manu, he instead said his party was going to collate their results along with the EC.
In an interview with Citi News, he clarified his statements in Takoradi saying, “We are going to collate our own parallel results, what we call parallel vote tabulation.”
He explained that their plans to declare parallel results, will be possible “because for the first time, we expect the electoral commission to post results at every polling station when it is declared by the presiding officers.”
“So we will take all the 29,000 polling station results declared by the electoral commission own presiding and collate our own parallel results to compare with what the EC is declaring,” he added.
But reacting to Mac Manu’s shifting positions, the NDC National Organizer, Kofi Adams, downplayed the opposition New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) plans to tabulate results of the election alongside the EC.
According to Mr. Adams, political parties, have always engaged in some form of parallel tabulation as a means of verification. “That is why the Electoral Commission gave every party that is at the polling station the results sheet,” he retorted.
Mr. Adams, who was also speaking in a separate interview with Citi News in response to Mr. Mac Manu, explained that tabulation of results at the polling centres, is no innovation as political parties, have been using it to challenge perceived anomalies at collation centres.
“You cannot declare your own results however, the results declaration sheet that you are given will serve as the basis for you to challenge anything that you say was uncovered and that must be done and could be done at the collation center before any the results are added; and that has always been happening.”
Mr. Adams maintained that there “there is absolutely nothing wrong with that” whilst noting that the NDC had used the parallel tabulation as a means of verification in past general elections.
He, however, stated that the line had to be drawn, when attempts are made to supersede the EC.
“There is absolutely no wrong in saying that you are going to tabulate it but you cannot declare results… You cannot force the Electoral Commission
to accept your figures unless you produce the results declaration sheet that you used in doing your tabulation. It has been made available to you and you use that to cross check even before the results are tabulated at the constituency level.”
While in Takoradi over the weekend, Mac Manu, touched on the party’s 2016 manifesto, saying the party has decided to delay the release to avoid it being plagiarized by the governing NDC.
He disclosed the party does not want to repeat what happened in 2008, when NPP policies detailed in its manifesto were allegedly doctored and adopted by the NDC. The party’s Free Senior High School (SHS) policy was also ridiculed by the NDC, as not doable, he added.
“We cannot sit down and repeat that same [mistake we did in the 2008] in 2016,” he said.
He disclosed the NPP, has inaugurated its Sector Committees to draw the 2016 manifesto, but it was not under compulsion to make its policies known to the public.
Mr. Manu, who is also a former National Chairman of the NPP, said the November election would be a referendum on the performance of the Mahama-led government.
He asserted “the good people of Ghana are saying for the eight years, tell us what you have done with the oil money. Tell us what you have done with the agriculture sector. Tell us what you have done with the electricity and electricity bills. That is what is on the table now.”