The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Afram Plains North in the Eastern Region, Emmanuel Aboagye Didieye, is threatening legal action against the Electoral Commission over last Saturday’s primaries.
Aboagye Didieye lost his bid to return to Parliament on the ticket of the NDC in 2016, Betty Krosby Mensah, after losing to a former Deputy Coordinator of the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA).
After voting on Saturday November 21, the incumbent MP who contested against five others polled 2,529 representing 27.70% of the total votes cast, whiles the winner, Betty Krosby Mensah polled 2,664 votes representing 29.18% of the votes.
The other contenders, Windham Emil Afram managed 687, Evans Apraku 431, Kpeli Walase 2115 and Adamu Musah 703.
But the incumbent MP says the Electoral Commission’s handling of the voting process in the constituency is to blame for his defeat hence his decision to contest the outcome of the polls in court.
According to him, voting which should have started from 7:00an to 5:00pm, started as late as 4:00pm and ended at 6:00pm in some constituencies.
“I want to go to court because I have realized that the EDC did not work according to the electoral rules of our party. According to the notice of poll that was given to EC they were supposed to start from seven to five pm. But they got to some polling stations and started around 4pm and ended at six pm meaning that they worked for only two hours. So there was low voter turnout.
He claimed that in some areas, due the late closure of polls people who would have voted for him were disenfranchised.
He also complained about the lack of challenge forms to tackle disagreements over the eligibility of voters which according to him is a breach of the electoral laws.
“It affected my results because the time they were supposed to close they didn’t close at that time so people didn’t have the chance to vote. Again, there were also some votes that were declared as rejected ballots which I realized that they were not supposed to be considered as rejected but because they didn’t add challenge forms to it, there was no way we could file a challenge so there was a handwritten challenge and they ignored the recount.”
According to him, if the Electoral Commission had gone strictly by the time to close the polls to allow more people to vote, he would have won the elections.
He says he will be consulting his lawyers in the coming days to decide on when to begin the court process.
Emmanuel Aboagye Didieye was seeking his third term parliamentary bid in a constituency traditionally occupied by the NDC.