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Jean Mensa “politically immature”; CODEO pooh-pooh “unwise” – Totobi Quakyi

The EC Chairdisagreed with CODEO’s observations at the close of the poll which was marred by violence as some macho men identified as national security operatives shot some six supporters of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) at La-Bawaleshie.

At a post-by-election pressconference at the EC’s headquarters on Friday, 1 February 2019, Mrs Mensa, said: “On the allegation of the shooting incident at the La-Bawaleshie area, the Commissionrejects the attempts by the report of CODEO to link the Electoral Commission to the alleged incident at the private residence of the parliamentary candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

“The Commission wishes to state that the said shooting incident did not take place in any of the polling stations in the Constituency, and, therefore, did not, in any way, disrupt the conduct of the overall poll. In this respect, the Commission strongly dissociates itself from the alleged acts of violence that occurred at the La-Bawaleshie area”.

On CODEO’s observation that the presence of armed security officials intimidated voters at the various polling stations, Mrs Mensa said: “We wish to reject the assertion that the presence of unarmed security, Immigration and Fire Service officials, disrupted the conduct of the polls.

“It is important to stress that none of the EC’s security officers in any of the 137 polling stations across the Constituency, was armed, giving voters the free will to exercise their right to vote.

“Indeed, these security officers were positioned far well away from the booths, and did not in any way in the opinion of the commission, serve as intimidation to incoming voters”, she said.

As far as CODEO’s report that a police officer was attacked by some National Security operatives is concerned at the Prisons JHS polling station, Mrs Mensaresponded thus: “The Commission wishes to state that the alleged attack on a police officer by National Security personnel, as stated in the CODEOreport, is untrue.

“The Commission’s check with its election officials; that is the Presiding Officers at the polling stations as well as the DistrictElectoral Officer in charge of the Ayawaso West WuogonConstituency, goes contrary to CODEO’s assertion.

However, in an open letteraddressed to President Nana Addo DankwaAkufo-Addo in the aftermath of the election, Mr Quakyi told the president that: “The indignation of your appointed Electoral Commissioner (sic) about the seriousness of the situation only serves to stoke the embers that we must hastily put out. The conceitedness of her response evidences an astonishing degree of political immaturity, and her attempt to discredit the observations and validconcerns of the independent observers is truly unfortunate, unconscionable and unwise.”

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