John Mahama and Jean Mensa
The Electoral Commission (EC) yesterday asked the Ghana Police Service to probe former President John Mahama’s allegation that the commission thumb-printed a million ballot papers in favour of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) during the 2020 polls.
In the latest ‘Let The Citizens Know’ series held at the EC headquarters, the Deputy Commissioner of the EC in charge of Corporate Affairs Dr. Eric Bossman Asare said such a probe is necessary to protect the integrity of democracy in the country.
Tackling the recent allegations against the EC by the former President, Dr. Bossman Asare described them as untrue and intended only to attack the integrity of the commission.
The EC Chairperson, Jean Mensa, had earlier welcomed the media and praised journalists whose role during the 2020 polls, she said, was valuable for the exercise.
Dr. Bossman Asare who led the charge against the series of allegations against the EC by the former President, challenged him to provide proofs of the charges he leveled against the commission, saying “he who alleges must prove.”
The former President, he went on, should tell the people of this country how he arrived at his low rating for the 2020 polls considering the fact that reputable international bodies have rated it high using verifiable scientific means to arrive at their positive conclusions.
For the first time in the history of elections in this country, the EC during the last polls dealt with the exercise demographically, something which he said “was not the case in previous polls.”
Dr. Bossman Asare said not responding to the former President’s allegation would have dire consequences on the integrity of elections in the country.
The allegation about the thumb-printed one million ballots by the former President is not true, he said, adding “we call on him to prove it. We call on the Police to investigate it.”
Ballot boxes were opened and sealed in the presence of representatives of the political parties, and so it was just impossible to do as the former President said against the EC, the Deputy Commissioner said, adding “this is false.”
The results declared by the EC after the polls, he went on, represented the will of the people of this country.
Continuing, he said the results collated were in tandem with those presented by media houses and establishments such as CODEO.
On the former President’s description of the elections as the worse in the history of elections in the country, he said this cannot be true when internationally the exercise received high rating, adding that the people of Ghana are the best judges of the polls and from what they posted after the polls they were satisfied with the quality of the elections.
Dr. Bossman said the former President appears to be doing so just so he can malign the EC Chairperson.
Turning to the NDC, he recalled how the party’s General Secretary was inconsistent in his issues with the polls. In one breath he said they had won the polls and in another he said nobody won.
Dr. Bossman said a golden opportunity was presented for the former President to make his case against the polls in court but he failed to do so.
The party could not provide a single pink sheet to support its claims when the opportunity was presented during the election petition hearing.
The EC does not account to individuals but rather does so to the representatives of the people who are the MPs, “not even to the President,” he said.
The Supreme Court settles disputes arising out of elections, he said, adding “the EC is mindful of its responsibilities and conscious of attempts to malign it. It is the people of Ghana who choose who rules them and not the EC.”
The former President launched a blistering attack on the Electoral Commission (EC) Chairperson, Jean Mensa, recently saying without any proof that the EC boss supervised the stealing of one 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.
“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, October 14, 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 one 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.”
By A.R. Gomda