Peter Boamah Otokunor, the Deputy General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has rejected a report by the European Union’s Election Observation Mission (EOM) on the 2020 general elections.
It said that the counting process was assessed positively and it was conducted in a largely transparent manner and always in the presence of party agents who in all cases received signed copies of the result forms.
The report has since gotten Chair of the Electoral Commission (EC) Mrs. Jean Mensa to emerge from what appears to be a hideout since the end of the 2020 Election Petition at the Supreme Court by reacting to a report by the European Union that the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections in Ghana were free and fair.
She had through her lawyer, Justin Amenuvor and with the support of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) avoided mounting the witness boss at the Supreme Court to give evidence by explaining the numbers she declared in the Presidential Election result.
The NDC’s John Mahama, had insisted that the numbers were fictitious, and was surprisingly supported by the NPP’s Peter Mac Manu who declared on live radio; Joy FM that President Nana Akufo-Addo’s legal team was going to prove to the court that some numbers were given to Mr Mahama by the EC, which he was not entitled to, but this could not happen as Mrs. Mensa, refused to enter the witness boss.
In a tweet, Mrs. Mensa, who had been quiet since the end of the case, shared news stories that quoted the EU report, saying “Jean Mensa-led EC’s ‘efficiently organized’, ‘free’ 2020 polls met int’l standards – EU Observer Mission”.
The EU EOM’s assessment of the election was made public on Tuesday, April 12, 2021, at press conference chaired by Javier Nart, the Chief Observer of the EU Election Observation Mission to Ghana.
It expressed satisfaction with the overall conduct of the elections, stating that it met international standards.
“The conclusion in the mission’s final report is that the elections were efficiently organised, competitive, that voters participated freely in large numbers, and that the process successfully met a range of international standards,” Mr. Nart said, adding that the overall conduct of voting was assessed positively in 95 per cent of polling stations observed.
“However, shortcomings already identified by previous EU election observation missions remain, such as the misuse of state resources, the abuse of incumbency, vote-buying, and unregulated campaign finances. These resulted in an uneven playing field.”
Speaking on Joy News, Otokunor, said that having studied the report carefully, he has come to the conclusion that it is not a fair reflection of the election that was held on December 7, 2020. Otokunor reasoned that that the elections were fraught with irregularities, some of which the EU EOM captured in their report. Mr Otokunor explained that this is due to several irregularities and flaws identified in the report.
He questioned the procedure used by the mission in getting their report to Parliament and urged Ghanaians treat it with a pinch of salt.
“They failed to accurately report and discuss all the issues and all the steps…If you look at the procedure, they actually went through the back door even in Parliament and that is where they encountered several problems and they had to go back and forth three times before the instrument was properly laid. So that problem itself was something that was supposed to be reported by the EU. “…You cannot make that conclusion, you would have to put all the bits and pieces together as part of the process then you can make a conclusive statement on whether it was free and fair.
He also said that the report failed to capture some major development that happened during the elections, including the killing of some persons believed to be NDC supporters.
“We expected that the EU will report on some of these critical issues because you are doing comprehensive monitoring of the elections, so all the fallouts during the registration exercise; the stabbing of Silas Wulochamey in Banda, the shooting at Dormaa Central. These cannot be isolated, if this thing happened in any of the European Countries, it is a big deal, why is it an isolated situation in Ghana?”.
“There is no aspect of this report that talks about security, recommendations that have been made, nothing said on security, I think that is a very big flaw in the monitoring tools that were used by the EU…these are the things they have to look for. Because if you come and monitor all the processes… why didn’t you include security? Why were you not monitoring security?” he quizzed.