Politics

Ayawaso by-election: EC dissociates itself from violence and says election was peaceful

The Electoral Commission (EC) have dissociated itself from the violence that marred the Ayawaso by-election on January 31, 2019.

There were some disturbances at the residence of the NDC candidate Delali Kwesi Brempong which resulted in some shooting.

This left six NDC members injured and subsequently led to the NDC pulling out of the race.

The elections went ahead and NPP’s Lydia Alhassan emerged winner but Coalition for Domestic Election Observer (CODEO) criticised the EC for the low turn out which they blamed on the presence of masked men at the polling centre and violence that characterised the polling process.

The EC in a press conference today denied knowledge of the masked men and also dissociated themselves from the violence.

 “At the end of the by-elections at the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency, the Electoral Commission is pleased to announce that the conduct of the polls in all 137 polling stations was peaceful, smooth and orderly.

“The EC staff and as well as the security agents at the polling stations conducted themselves in an orderly and professional manner,”

Describing the report as one-sided, the EC Chair said “on the allegation of a shooting incident at the La Bawaleshie area, the Commission rejects 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 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.”

“We wish to reject the assertion that the presence of unarmed Security, Immigration and Fire Service Officials disrupted the conduct of the polls.”

Ms Jean Mensah who is the EC Chairperson stressed that none of the EC’s Security Officers in any of the 137 polling stations across the constituency were armed giving voters the free will to exercise their right to vote.

The Commission, therefore, cannot be blamed for the alleged acts of violence that occurred, she said adding, “these security officers well away from the booths and did not in any way in the opinion of the Commission serve as intimidation to voters.”

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