The Electoral Commission (EC) Chairperson, Charlotte Osei, says suggestion that her position affords her the ability to rig elections for President John Mahama is unfounded.
She explains the country’s electoral process and the reforms that have been implemented for the December 7 general elections make it impossible for any EC Chair to skew election results to favour a particular candidate.
“It is just not possible under the system,” she said on Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana, Thursday.
“For Charlotte Osei to [rig elections], she has to get the support and active involvement of her six co-commissioners, her 10 regional directors, the 200-plus District Electoral Officers, the 275 Returning Officers and their two assistants.
“Then when you get to the polling stations, for this year’s elections, Charlotte Osei, has to let all these people decide to tow one line. You are likely to have over 500,000 Agents for candidates per party and two Counting Agents per party at the Collation Centres. All these people must actively be working and changing the documents for Charlotte Osei to rig the elections.
“So I need to convince 500,000-plus people to skew the system in favour of one person. I haven’t figured out how to do that yet and it is not even a part of my value system that I will do that. Basically, it is impossible,” she told show host Paul Adom Otchere.
The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has been fiercely critical of the EC in the lead up to the general polls, fearing the Chairperson of the Commission, who was appointed by the President, intends to skew the December polls to favour him and the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
From allegations that she once contested to be a legislator on the ticket of the NDC to claims that she is working to conduct the Presidential and Parliamentary polls with a bloated register, Mrs Osei has not won the trust of the NPP as the Commission prepares to conduct the crucial December elections.
Recently a key member of the NPP and Assin Central Member of Parliament, Kennedy Agyapong, alleged Mrs Osei was appointed to lead the Commission by granting sexual favours to NDC bigwigs, an allegation that was widely condemned although the oppositon party is yet to do same.
Mr Agyapong has since explained his comment was meant as a joke.
Commenting on the barrage of criticisms she has endured since her assumption to office in June 2015, he revealed on Good Evening Ghana that she is not perturbed although some scalding allegations have been unsettling to her family.
“We have a high level of mistrust and we tend to focus on persons,” she notes about the country’s political discourse.
She welcomes criticisms, but only those that will foster progress.
“Criticisms by themselves are not bad. All of us we need criticisms to improve upon whatever we are doing. The problems are unfounded allegations, comments that are without basis,” she pointed out.
It is important that critics focus on the process not the person, she admonished.
“I believe we should have a process that is so strong that regardless of how malevolent Charlotte Osei wants to be, she should not be able to rig the elections,” she advised.