Deputy Chairman in charge of Operations at the Electoral Commission (EC), Mr David Kanga, maintains that the commission will not bow to pressure from any political group, institution or individual to either misconduct itself or do anything that will ruin or undermine the December general election.
"No one can push us to do anything that will undermine the December general election. We will not only do the right thing to make the elections transparent, credible and acceptable to all parties involved but will also attach professionalism to all our activities to win the confidence of the electorate and the international community," he said.
Mr Kanga stated this in Kumasi at a seminar to build the capacity of 150 police officers and men and other security agents from the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions to prepare them to undertake effective and efficient policing in the run-up to the December elections.
He said the EC had a reputation to defend as a credible and independent body that had gained recognition locally and internationally for carrying out four credible and successful elections, as well as a number of by-elections, and would, therefore, not do anything to ruin its hard-won reputation.
Speaking on the topic, “Electoral laws and offences that guide the elections”, Mr Kanga pointed out that it was the duty of the police to arrest and prosecute anyone who committed electoral offences.
He expressed concern about the number of minors who were allowed to register during the last registration exercise, saying it could create confusion and chaos on election day.
Explaining, he said while some people could vehemently put impediments in the way of minors who attempted to vote, others would vigorously support them "and this is what could create confusion during election day".
He pointed out that while the ordinary person had no right to prevent a minor from voting under the law, the police were legally bound to do so.
Mr Kanga urged Ghanaians to vote according to their conscience to enhance democracy in the country.
In his remarks, the Ashanti Regional Police Commander, DCOP Kwaku Ayesu Opare-Addo, urged his personnel to conduct themselves professionally before, during and after the election to sustain the peace being enjoyed in the country.
He said it was time the police accepted the challenges facing them and performed to the satisfaction of the electorate and the parties involved to win their confidence.
Story by George Ernest Asare