General News of Friday, 7 August 2020
Source: Class FM
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The opposition National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) parliamentary candidate for the Ketu South Constituency, Abla Dzifa Gomashie, has said she stands by all her public submissions in which she suggested that the Electoral Commission (EC) was involved in a “grand agenda” to “disenfranchise” people in her constituency.
The Electoral Commission of Ghana denied her claims that it was scheming to reduce votes in that constituency of the Volta Region.
Ms Gomashie made the allegation in a short video on social media.
The EC, however, denied anything of that nature.
“In the said video, the MP aspirant, Ms Dzifa Gomashie, makes the claim that the voter registration exercise in Viepe has been discontinued to make way for the registration for the Ghana card.
“Dzifa Gomashie further insinuates that it is a grand agenda to reduce votes in Ketu South.
“The Commission finds the statement by the aspiring MP very unfortunate.
“Not only is her statement untrue but it also has the tendency of creating unnecessary tensions and disaffection for the Commission and its staff”, a statement from the Commission said.
It added that: “For the records, the voter registration exercise in Viepe at the R/C Primary School whereas the National Identification Authority mop=up exercise is taking place at the Roman Catholic Church, which is more than one hundred metres away”.
However, in a statement issued on her behalf on Thursday, 6 August 2020, and signed by Ben-Bella Haligah, Ms Gomashie said she still “states for the record that she stands by all public submissions that, indeed, the Electoral Commission is, in fact, engaged in a grand agenda seeking to disenfranchise as many Voltarians in the constituency as possible.”
According to the statement: “The EC may choose to ignore the video evidence and live testimonies of several people in the constituency, affirming this latest ploy to revert from voter ID card registration, to the Ghana card registration. The EC’s claims do not, in any way, change the facts on the ground”.
“The fact is that the EC has been engaged in a state-sponsored initiative to reduce the number of people registering in Ketu South – an NDC stronghold” through “varying forms of brutalisation, harassment and intimidation of citizens of the constituency are well-known and continue to occur”.
The statement continued that: “Changing gazetted schedules/venues, removal of equipment and reducing numbers of EC officials to fill the forms at busy registration centres are other tactics being deployed.”
The NDC parliamentary candidate further noted that: “It is instructive that no public information had been provided in the constituency of any National Identification Authority ‘Mop-up’ exercise until the parliamentary candidate made her findings public. One would question the veracity of such a statement, as it is incredible that the NIA card mop-up activities should be conducted concurrently with voter ID registration in a COVID-19 era.”
It also added: “The unknown media contact for the EC’s press release would be well-served to explain this to the people of Viepe, Ketu South and well-meaning Ghanaians at large.
“If the EC is collaborating with the NIA, then they may want to do a better job of effective communication going forward.
The Ketu South parliamentary candidate also advised the EC “of the very discerning mindset of the people of Ketu South and take steps to right the unspeakable wrongs they have presided over which have been visited on honest, hardworking people in the constituency, whose only crime, was their desire to exercise their rights as citizens to vote.”
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