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22.11.2008 Elections

We are ready for run-off-EC assures

By Ghanaian Times

THE Electoral Commission (EC) says it is in the position to have ballot papers printed on time for a run off in the presidential election if the need arises.

The Principal Electoral Officer in charge of Human Resource, Samuel D. Boadu, stated this in an interview with the Times on the sidelines of a fasting and prayer session organised by the Commission's staff in Accra on Thursday.

Mr Boadu said the EC had factored into and budgeted for a possible run-off and would be ready to organise it within the statutory 21 days.

He said the EC has contracted about seven printing companies and in the event of re-run, it would instruct them to print more ballot papers for that purpose.

Mr Boadu reiterated that the EC could not help any political party to win an election and discounted rumours that the commission was in league with the government to rig the December 7 elections.

The EC has an in-built mechanism for cheeks and balances to ensure transparency uniformity, verifiability arid fairness, he said.

Mr Boadu said rigging was a collaborative effort calculated to favour a particular candidate or political party, stressing, that the EC's mechanisms were so transparent and verifiable that rigging could not be done.

He said rigging could occur at the polling stations and therefore urged the political parties to appoint competent and trust worthy polling agents who should be able to read and write.

Mr Boadu advised the media to be circumspect in their reportage, and not be in a hurry to announce electoral results. They should publish only authenticated results from presiding officers, adding results are remained provisional until certified by the Commission.

The fasting and prayer session was organised by the Christian Fellowship of the EC to seek the face of God to ensure a successful poll.

It was attended by officials of the EC, religious bodies in the country and the general public.

The Superintendent Minister of the Calvary Methodist Church at Adabraka, Rev Thomas Forson who preached the sermon stressed the need for a peaceful election, saying the peace the country is enjoying should not be disturbed because of an election.

Rev Forson advised the political parties to conduct their campaigns devoid of insults, rancour and vilification.

President of the Christian Fellowship of the EC, Rev Stephen M. Apreku, said the prayer session was to seek God's protection and intervention in the upcoming election.