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26.10.2004 Politics

EC can't change results from polling stations

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Koforidua, Oct. 26, GNA - The Eastern Regional Electoral Officer, Mr Samuel Ntow has said that there was no way by the Electoral Commission (EC) could alter the electoral results sent to it from the polling stations and the constituencies.

He explained that the rigging of an election could only take place at the polling stations, when the political parties send people, who were not vigilant or were illiterates, drunks or ignorant of the electoral process to the polling stations as agents.

Mr Ntow was speaking at the Eastern Regional Training of Trainers Workshop for the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD)/Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) election observers at Koforidua. He made it clear that one could not object to the right of a citizen to vote on the polling day when this was not done during the registration of the voter or during the exhibition of the Voters' Register.

Mr Ntow said the registered number of voters at a polling station could increase or decrease depending on the voters' transfer list, special voter's list and proxy votes cast at the polling station. He advised the electoral observers to report at their assigned polling stations before 0700 hours to enable them to observe whatever would transpire before the voting started in order to be able to capture everything that happened.

Mr Eric Carbonu of the CDD explained that the aim of CODEO was to portray to the world that Ghanaians could organize free and fair elections, whose results would be accepted by all.

He said people, who would be recruited, as electoral observers for CODEO were not expected to be active members of any political party, because that could compromise the position of CODEO and CDD. Mr Carbonu said CODEO would be recruiting 768 electoral observers to observe the elections in the Eastern Region.

Mr Kofi Simpson, a member of the Regional Training Team, observed that, the freedom of speech guaranteed in the 1992 Constitution did not give the political parties the right to trade in insults when campaigning.

Mrs Francisca Bortey, Eastern Regional Secretary of the Trades Union Congress and a member of the team, called on the observers to be very conversant with the area where they would be observing so that in case of any danger they would know how to play it safe.

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