Mrs Jean Mensa, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), has assured Ghanaians that because of the inbuilt transparent system in Ghana’s electoral process, the Commission cannot in anyway rig elections for anyone.
She assured Ghanaians of the Commission’s neutrality, and that it would continue to be transparent in the execution of its constitutional mandate.
Mrs Mensa said this on Tuesday, when she led a team of Commissioners from her outfit to pay a courtesy call on the Management of the Multimedia Group Limited in Accra.
She was accompanied by her two deputies – Mr Samuel Tettey, in-charge of Operations and Dr Eric Bossman Asare, in-charge of Corporate Services.
The EC’s Delegation was received jointly by Mr Santokh Singh, Managing Director, Television, Mr Kenneth Ansah, Chief Operation Officer, Radio and Digital and other Management team members.
The purpose of the visit was to strengthen the partnership between the EC and the Multimedia Group, especially in the area of information dissemination.
It was also to afford the Commissioners the opportunity to brief the Group on their activities since assuming office in August 2018.
Mrs Mensa said the EC would continue to engage its stakeholders such as the political parties and the citizenry to build their confidence and capacity in the electoral system.
“But also strengthen our own systems to make them very transparent and therefore, it would be very difficult for anybody to accuse the umpire of not being neutral. But I don’t see the issue of neutrality. There is absolutely nothing you can do”.
There is absolutely nothing you can do. Even if my father was the President, and I am put in this place, because of the system that we have built and what we seek to do, there is absolutely nothing I can do,” Mrs Mensa stated.
“It is one of the areas that I will like to discuss to really take off the shroud of secrecy and to expose Ghanaians to the systems that we have, right from registrations all the way to elections, any stakeholder can monitor the process and police it.”
She said anybody who had issues with the electoral process at any stage could raise concerns for redress.
She said political parties were involved in the electoral process right from voter registration, voter register exhibition, printing and transporting of ballots, up to the voting day.
“It’s unfortunate when anybody says that the Chair of the EC cannot be neutral”.
“When it is so evident to that effect that we are doing our best,” she said.
“We are here to ensure that the will of the people stands. We are not here to plunge this nation into war. You cannot rig the election for anybody. The EC cannot. Even at the polling stations you (political parties) have your officials there,”she noted.
“Parties must ensure that they have trained credible agents, who can be trusted. And they should also be able to take proper records of the results of the elections. The EC cannot rig the election for anybody, unless the EC wants to plunge this nation into war,” Mrs Mensa added.
She said right from the start to the finishing line, the electoral processes were watertight and transparent.
“But I think that it is unfortunate that anybody will say the Chair of the EC is not neutral. That point has been made right from the onset before my appointment. But there should be evidence.”
She debunked the notion that the EC was clouded in secrecy. She said the EC would continue to collaborate with the media, civil society and the political parties to unearth all loopholes in the electoral process and tighten them.
Mrs Mensa said the Commission would strengthen the electoral process, protect the public purse, build a strong information technology and strong procurement systems.
On his part, Dr Asare said the EC was committed to doing the right thing.
He said the EC would soon present to Parliament the budget for the implementation of the Representation of the People Amendment Act (ROPAA).
He noted that, whether the Commission would be able to implement the ROPAA, in election 2020 or 2024 would depend on the approval of the budget for it.
Mr Tettey said the Commission was putting in place structures that would enable the electoral system to function more efficiently.
Mr Singh urged the EC to ensure the safety of journalists during elections and appealed to the
Commission to ensure the free flow of information to journalists.
Mr Ansah said the EC plays a pivotal role in deepening Ghana’s democratic dispensation.
Mr Evans Mensah, Editor and Head of the Political Desk, Joy FM, Multi-Media Group, said the beauty about the EC was that its independence could not be questioned.