CHRAJ describes December 7 polls as free, fair
The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has described the December 7 presidential and parliamentary elections as free, fair and transparent.
It said the infractions on citizens’ right to vote, especially vulnerable persons, were minimal.
Mr Joseph A. Whittal, the Commissioner, said this on Thursday as part of the International Human Rights Day celebration, marked annually.
This was from a report conducted by CHRAJ at places described as election hotspots.
“The main objective for undertaking the exercise is to enhance inclusiveness in the promotion and protection of citizens’ right to vote with particular focus on groups or persons in vulnerable situations,” he said.
The CHRAJ Boss said almost all the polling centres observed by the Commission provided special assistance to the elderly, pregnant, persons carrying babies and Persons with Disability to vote without having to wait in queues.
“However, a few polling centres did not do so. Thirty five (35) polling stations (10.8%) from 9 regions were without a tactile jacket. Reportedly, these Centres without the tactile braille/jacket did not have persons with sight impairments.”
He said some incidents recorded during the observation were a fight between some voters leading to temporary suspension of the voting process at the Wa Central Mosque 1 Polling Centre (P010801) and heavy rains that disrupted voting at the polling centres at PTC Hall Tobacco Block, Akatsi South, and the Presby Upper Primary School, Obosomase in the Akuapem North.
Others included biometric verification machines malfunctioning temporarily at the Suhum Government Hospital Polling Centre and the Korupe Mosque polling Centre, which were quickly rectified.
“At the Cocoa Shed, Afere 1 polling station in the Western North in Juaboso, some young people refused to leave the polling station after they had cast their votes. Their presence and seeming refusal to leave prevented other electorate from getting access to the polling station. The security officer called for the patrol team which brought the situation under control.”
One person attempted to vote twice at Beauty of Nature polling station with polling code E 211409 in Denkyembour in the Eastern region.
On Security, he said “Majority (270) of the polling centres observed had security officers who were easily identifiable (in their uniform) to maintain peace and order. However, five (5) of the centres observed had no security personnel stationed at the centres”.
He called for more education for actors in the electoral system to improve on future elections.