Politics

We can’t change political parties’ perception about EC – Dr. Serebour Quaicoe

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Director of Electoral Services for the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr. Serebour Quaicoe, says no matter what the EC does the perception some political parties have about them will not change.

According to him, the perception that the Commission is in cahoots with the ruling party to rig elections by the opposition party will not change when the opposition party comes to power, thus they are to be expected.

“As for perception you can’t change it in the sense that if the person decides that ‘I don’t trust you’, it will be difficult for you to change that. And my late grandmother used to say that when somebody is pretending to be asleep, you can never wake the person up. So if the person decides that ‘I don’t trust you’, no matter what you do ‘I don’t trust you’,” he said on JoyNews’ PM Express.

He was referring to recent accusation from the National Democratic Congress that the Commission was trying to rig the elections in favour of the ruling New Patriotic Party in the recent and upcoming by-elections.

According to Dr. Serebour Qauicoe, rigging an election in Ghana is near impossible.

“But if somebody wants to be fair with the system and the person goes through the processes, because starting from the registration to nomination to printing of ballot papers, to the voting day itself, to the counting, to the declaration, they’re with us,” he said.

Citing the recent Kumawu by-elections, Dr. Quaicoe noted that representatives from all participating parties were present and actively involved in the pre-election processes, during the election, and post-election processes.

“The recent one we did, the Kumawu one, I met the candidates’ representatives here, we discussed the way we were going to do the printing. Even putting somebody in a position is balloted. So we don’t decide that you should be the first or the second or the third, it’s balloted. So when it’s balloted then your position on the ballot is determined.

“When we get that we meet all of you and we tell you that we’re doing the printing at this printing house. We’ll be there from this date and time to this date and time. We will be there, the candidates’ agents will be there, the national security will be there, the Ghana Police Service will be there.

“If it has to take one month, basically that’s for general elections, but this one it took about three days for the printing. We were there to print day and night, and we were going in shift so when it is six o’clock another team will come.

“When we finished the printing we have the serial numbers, so everybody who is there knew that the ballot papers that are going to Kumawu will start with this serial number and end at this serial number. We package them, when we are sending them to Kumawu they escorted us with the police and the rest.

“We took them to Kumawu, we lodged them at the police depot, the parties have put their seals on them. Some even wanted to lock the whole police station, I said that one is not possible, you cannot say that because of your ballot paper they cannot have access to their offices…”

He noted that with the intense supervision and scrutiny done by the representatives of all participating parties in the election, it is simply unfounded to accuse the EC of rigging the elections for a particular party.

He added that even if the President, Akufo-Addo, or John Mahama were to head the Electoral Commission, with the current systems in place, even they would not be able to rig the elections.

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