Tuesday, December 23, 2008

EC urged to take steps for compliance with electoral laws

A legal team supporting Ghana's main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), has called on the Electoral Commission to take immediate steps for compliance with the nation's electoral laws at next Sunday's presidential run-off.
     The team, led by Mr Chris Ackumey, told a press conference in Accra that it would  explore all legal opportunities available to it to ensure that the right thing was done so that Ghanaians would freely exercise their franchise and elect a leader of their choice at next Sunday's Presidential run-off.
      The contest would be between NDC's Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the presidential candidate of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), neither of whom obtained the constitutional more than 50 per cent of the total valid ballots cast in the first round.
      The team complained that some polling officials and presiding officers kept agents of the NDC far away from the polling officials to make it impossible for them to closely monitor the elections.
      This, the group said was against the electoral laws, and called for a strict compliance, and called on the Commission to make a public statement on the matter and advise its officials to strictly observe the law.
      The lawyers said a polling agent acted on behalf of a presidential candidate and it was wrong and against the law for any presiding officer  to keep polling agents at long distances from where it would be impossible to detect impersonation and other malpractices.
      The team accused some supporters of the NPP, of conniving with some Police personnel to arrest and intimidate NDC supporters, in the Mfantsiman West, Oda, Ayawaso Central and Weija, adding that, certain areas had been declared "no go areas" to NDC members and agents.
      The lawyers said there were reports Government ordering the closure of the eastern border of the country, but such closure, they pointed out was an act which breached the fundamental rights of Ghanaians in that area.
      "The closure of the border is discriminatory and it infringes on the right of free movement of the citizens in that area, contrary to the provisions in the 1992 Constitution," Mr Ackumey said.

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