Former President John Mahama has once again launched a blistering attack on the Electoral Commission (EC) Chairperson Jean Mensa, saying without any proof that the EC boss supervised the stealing of 1 million votes for the ruling NPP in the 2020 general election.
Mr. Mahama, who is leading the opposition NDC, has not relented in his unprovoked attacks against the EC boss whom many credit her for holding the most transparent and peaceful election in the history of the Fourth Republic.
The NDC flagbearer went to court making allegations against the EC without submitting the needed documents to back his claims, and rather asked the court to invite the commission he accused, to come and explain its action.
The court rejected the request, and Mr. Mahama has since not forgiven the judges and the EC boss for the decision.
“More than one million extra ballot papers were printed, which the EC claimed happened by mistake but on the day of the elections, some of the more than one million extra ballot papers had already been secretly thumb-printed in favour of the NPP,” Mr. Mahama said when he addressed the Divisional Chief of Prestea Himan, Nana Nteboah Prah, recently, as part of his ‘Thank You’ tour of the Western Region on Thursday, adding “and, so, all these things dented the credibility of the polls and caused an embarrassment.”
Interestingly, when Mr. Mahama filed the petition at the Supreme Court, he did not include the 1 million votes allegation he is now making.
“I heard her (EC boss) say ‘it’s the best election Ghana has ever had’ and yet you run away from scrutiny at the Supreme Court,” he said, adding “so, how do you boast that ‘it’s the best election Ghana has ever had?’”
“If you believed it’s the best election Ghana had, then you should have mounted the witness box to be interrogated for everyone to ascertain that fact,” he said without considering the basic legal principle that says ‘he who alleges must prove.’
Mr. Mahama also said on Cape FM in Cape Coast in the Central Region that “2020 was Ghana’s worst election. If I was marking her, I would have given her an F. She is marking her own paper after examination so she can give herself any mark she likes.”
The former President, starting his tour from the Eastern Region, told members of the Regional House of Chiefs in Koforidua to speak up and demand for electoral reforms.
“It is our hope that the National House of Chiefs and the Regional House of Chiefs will join voices with us so that we have an independent view of the proposals that have been brought,” he stated.
According to him, this is “because, in most cases, after an election, the Electoral Commission takes steps to set up a panel to look at some of the issues that went wrong and come up with proposals for making sure we correct them.”
“We expect that this Electoral Commission will do the same,” he noted, but indicated that the electoral management body had not reviewed the last election “to even come up with proposals to correct some of the anomalies that were witnessed in the polls.”
The 2020 NDC presidential candidate had earlier said in Kumasi that the party would not relent in its efforts to get the EC to accept its reform proposals, vowing “We have sent the proposals and whatever we will do in terms of advocacy to ensure that they do the right thing, we will do it.”
The NDC is demanding for the appointment of Commissioners of the EC to be subjected to parliamentary approval, as part of its reform proposals which the party says will deal with perceived partisanship in the appointment.
The NDC also wants a repeal of the requirement for the consent of the Attorney General to be given before the prosecution of electoral offences as well as specially-designated courts for electoral disputes and offences before, during and after registration of voters and elections.
The NDC again is demanding the EC to be allowed by law to apply to the courts to remove names of deceased and other unqualified persons from the provisional register when informed by the relevant authorities.
The NDC is also calling for a split of the EC into two separate bodies namely an Office for the Regulation of Political Parties (ORPP) and an Electoral Commission (EC), by amending the Political Parties Act, 2000, Act 574.
These proposals were made outside the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meetings where such decisions are mostly taken, yet the party insists the EC must take onboard the proposals.
By Ernest Kofi Adu