Politics of Friday, 12 October 2018
The Elections Directorate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has strongly debunked allegations that the party failed to collate the 2016 election results.
Also singled out for criticism was the failure of the Electoral Commission (EC) to up to date discharge its constitutional obligation to gazette the 2016 presidential election results.
At a news conference in Accra today to set the records straight, the acting Director of Elections of the NDC, Mr Bede Ziedeng, said the results were duly collated and compiled by members of the directorate and were available for verification at the party’s headquarters.
Mr Ziedeng said it was untrue that the party failed to collate the results, saying “this view is palpably incorrect and the directorate states categorically that the results were duly collated and compiled by members of the directorate and are available for verification for those who care to know”.
Mr Ziedeng described those peddling such allegations as either detractors of Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, the immediate past Director of Elections who is contesting as a national chairman of the NDC, or persons who did not understand how election results were collated.
He stated that the collation was duly carried out and the election directorate continuously furnished the NDC representatives at the EC’s strong room with collated results until the final declaration.
“We had parliamentary candidates in all the 275 constituencies. None of them has complained about non-collation of results. Even those challenging the election results relied on our collated results,” he added.
Explaining the collation system the NDC had adopted over the years, the acting director of elections indicated that the party collated presidential results from the various constituencies and regional centres, adding that the party had never collated results from a primary source such as from polling stations where there were pink sheets.
He recalled that when the New Patriotic Party (NPP) filed the election petition after the 2012 polls, the NDC was compelled to move around polling stations across the country to retrieve and assemble all the pink sheets in order to mount a credible defence at the Supreme Court.
Flanked by other members of the election directorate of the party, including Dr Ibrahim Zubeiru, Mr Daniel Amartey and Mr Mahdi Gibril, Mr Ziedeng said the infrastructure for the collation of results directly from the polling stations in national elections did not exist in the NDC and, therefore, could not have been employed in the collation of results of the 2016 polls.
What happened, however, Mr Ziedeng explained, was that during the 2016 election, there was an attempt to establish a new infrastructure for results collation from the polling stations but that infrastructure to transmit the results electronically crashed soon after it was deployed, which resulted in the party’s failure to provide early results.
He posited that despite the crash of that infrastructure, the NDC still went ahead to collate the results manually.
“We believe that the infrastructure which crashed was similar to that deployed by the NPP. Fortunately the NPP’s system survived and hence they were able to collate their results in a record time,” he stressed.