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12.05.2008 General News

DECLARATION OF ELECTION RESULTS

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THE Electoral Commissioner, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, is reported as saying that no politician or group of politicians have the legal right and power to declare election results except the Electoral Commission which has been mandated by law to do so.

He therefore appealed to the media not to allow themselves to be used by such politicians to mislead the nation for their own selfish interest.

Dr Afari-Gyan said this at the first Western Regional Special Inter-party Advisory Committee forum held in Takoradi last Tuesday.

The Times agrees with Dr Afari-Gyan that the Commission is the only legitimate body to declare results of an election.

However it is important to note that because previous elections held in this country were characterised by late declaration of results, it created room for speculations.

In the last election, the EC gave the assurance that more than three quarters of the results would be declared by December 8, but that could not be achieved.

Even in some constituencies in the Greater Accra Region where the EC’s headquarters is located, results were released two days after the election.

Results from areas where the EC considers as inaccessible, such as the 'overseas' area in the northern Volta took almost a week to be declared.

It must be noted that delays in the release of election results sometimes give room to speculations and all kinds of accusations against the Electoral Commission.

It is important to note that this particular election is very crucial and everything must be done to ensure that it is free and fair.

The electorate would be attentive and keen to know the results as early as possible and nothing should be done to cause anyone to be suspicious of unfair play.

We therefore urge the Electoral Commission to be up to the task to ensure that the election is conducted in a free and fair manner to win the confidence of the electorate and the outside world.

It is gratifying that the EC has disclosed that it has received the necessary funds and is in the process of acquiring logistics to train personnel to man the polling stations.

We hope that the EC will make use of the necessary avenues to facilitate the release of the results in good time to avoid suspicion.

The Times appeals to various political parties to put their trust in the EC and allow it to declare the results as mandated by the law.

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