The Election Commission (EC) on Thursday outlined modalities for declaring a duly elected candidate either at the Presidential or Parliamentary elections and called on all to adhere to the procedure.
The EC in a document obtained by the Ghana News Agency in Accra stated that: “except where a candidate is declared elected unopposed, the winner of a parliamentary election would be decided on a simple plurality or first-past-the post basis.
“This means that the candidate who obtains the highest number of valid votes cast wins the election.” The EC reiterated that the winner of a presidential election must obtain at least 50per cent plus one of the total valid votes cast.
The Commission explains that in event of a run-off; it shall be conducted between the candidates who obtained the two highest numbers of votes within 21 days after the declaration of the result.
On the issue of Vice President, the EC said a person is deemed elected Vice-President when the Presidential Candidate who designated him/her as the running mate is duly elected.
The EC explained that the results of a presidential election are officially declared through a Constitutional Instrument (CI) signed by the EC’s Chairman. It said the result of parliamentary elections would be officially declared by Gazette notification.
The EC said a citizen of Ghana may challenge the validity of the election of the President in the Supreme Court within 21 days after the result has been declared.
“A citizen of Ghana may challenge the validity of the election of a Member of Parliament in the High Court, within 21 days after the result has been declared, with a right of appeal to the Appeal Court”.
According to the EC three things are particularly noteworthy from the description of what happens from the voting period through the counting of the ballots to the declaration of the results of the elections.
The EC said the process leading to the declaration of the final results of the elections are thoroughly decentralized and transparent.
In the case of a presidential election, the results are first declared at the more than 20,000 polling stations then at the 275 constituency centres and next at the 10 regional capitals before they are finally transmitted to the EC’s Head Officer in Accra.
In effect the EC Commissioners in Accra are the last to see the results and cannot, therefore, alter them. GNA observations are that the arrangement is such that a well-organized political party or candidate should be able to know the outcome of the elections long before the Commissioners in Accra announce the final results.
Thus, a candidate or party can add up the scores and challenge the authenticity of the results declared by the Commission if they did not tally. The results of an election can be verified at various stages all the way down to the individual polling stations.