Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan, a former head of Ghana’s election commission, has noted that collation centers have recently become a place where voting results are manipulated.
“It is important to note that most of the manipulation of election results in recent times tends to happen at the collation centers where votes are collated or tabulated” the former EC boss hinted.
Therefore, he urged the Electoral Commission to establish reliable polling and results management mechanisms with precise guidelines and instructions that would be known to all relevant parties well in advance of elections.
According to Dr. Afari Gyan, the Electoral Commission and its various permanent and temporary staff have a duty to be open and honest about the results in the area of results management.
“The Electoral Commission must do two things in the results management functions. First, it must institute a robust polling and results management process of clear procedures and instructions, in a manner them known to the stakeholders way ahead of elections.A lot of these are usually available in the election law and election manuals regarding for example polling counting and collation procedures”
He continued that “the second point for the EC to do is to manage the process in such a transparent way that there will be no doubt of the election results. In the matter of results management it is important to bear in mind that an obligation placed on the Electoral Commission is an obligation placed on its numerous permanent and temporary officials. And that is where the danger is. For purposes of reconstitution of the election results, this places a premium on polling station results.”
At the third annual conference of the NDC Lawyers Association, held over the weekend in Akosombo in the Eastern region, Dr. Afari Gyan spoke on the subject of free and fair elections.
According to Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan, the EC, political Parties, and Police are all jointly responsible for the conduct of free and fair elections.
He urged the government to provide the Electoral Commission all the funding it need in order for it to function properly and produce fair and reliable election results.