EC Can’t Print Ballot Papers On The Blind Side of Political Parties – Kwamena Duncan Corroborates EC’s Statement
Regional Minister for Central Region, Kwamena Duncan has lashed out at the National Democratic Congress (NDC) over their claims on the printing of ballot papers by the Electoral Commission (EC) for the December 7 elections.
Over the course the past few days, the Mahama-led NDC administration has raised objections against the EC allowing the Assembly Press, headed by a known member of the incumbent government to be part of firms printing the ballot papers.
According to the NDC, the electoral body of Ghana is suspiciously printing more than 150,000 ballot papers. That aside, the party also alleged that the EC has failed to provide statistics on the exact number of ballot papers produced.
Responding to the several claims levelled against the body, the Electoral Commission has debunked the NDC claims in a press release stating “the Electoral Commission finds it difficult to understand why the NDC would seek to cause fear and apprehension around a transparent and open process such as the printing of ballots. This is unacceptable.”
“It has been a standard practice for the Commission to print ballot papers in excess of five percent (5%) to cater for instances such as spoilt ballots. This has been the practice since 1992, and the present Commission has not changed this policy. In line with this policy, all Printing Houses have been directed to print the 2020 ballot papers in excess of 5% for all thirty-eight thousand, six hundred and thirty (38,630) Polling Stations across the country. It is important to note that since 1992, ballot papers for both the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections are printed in booklets of 10, 25, 50 and 100 for all Polling Stations.
“This has always been the practice, and the NDC is well aware of this. For the information of the General Public, all Political Parties have accredited Agents in all the Printing Houses who monitor and keep a 24-hour watch of the printing process. The transparency and openness of the process make it impossible for any Printing House to manipulate and compromise the process as all printing is done in the full glare of the Agents of the Political Parties.”
Addressing the people of Ghana, the Electoral Commission assured the citizenry that, “each ballot paper will be accounted for. Not one ballot paper will be included in a package that has not been accounted for. This will not happen. Our processes are open, transparent and robust and will remain so”.
Reacting to the NDC’s allegation and the EC’s response to the entire brouhaha, Kwamena Duncan in an interview on Wednesday’s ‘Kokrokoo’ on Peace FM, corroborated the statement by the EC.
He said it is extremely unlikely the EC will print ballot papers without the full participation and notice of all the apparent multitude of qualified parties involved in this year’s general elections.
He stated, as part of measures to guarantee transparency, each political party is given a serial number that coordinates with the serial numbers on the ballot boxes along with an uncommon seal.
He added that the parties will quickly see any breach to the ballot papers if there be any.
“Each booklet has all the ballot papers with their serial numbers which are not something new. Everybody who has been to the elections knows this process all this while,” he stated.
He further explained why the EC prints the ballot papers in excess of 5 percent saying it is to cater for all contingencies during the elections.
Stressing on his assertions, Kwamena Duncan asserted that the NDC is making up claims as a ploy to psyche their members and supporters for a grand defeat in the elections.
“You cannot do it precisely the figure because you’re printing the booklet in 25s, in the 50s, in 100s and everybody knows this. So, this matter is complete bunkum. This is all the effort preparing the minds of the NDC people that I’ve lost, but it wasn’t my fault, so grant me another opportunity in 2024.”