The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has described as surprising claims attributed to it by the Electoral Commission (EC) regarding its report on the just-ended by-election at the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency.
The coalition insists its Close-Of-Polls Statement on the by-elections is a factual representation of what happened on the ground, regardless of the EC’s quick rebuttal.
It could be recalled that last Thursday’s by-election recorded some incidents of violence leading to the alleged assault of some citizens.
As a normal protocol, the coalition issued a statement on the conduct of the polls questioning security arrangements made by the EC, but the EC came out quickly to refute some of the claims made by CODEO.
Speaking at a press conference in Accra last Wednesday, National Coordinator for CODEO, Mr. Albert Arhin, said the coalition had always followed strict procedures to ensure that its reports recorded and reflected only that which was factually observed and documented by its assigned observers and team.
“CODEO does not rely on hearsay or uncorroborated third-party accounts. CODEO is, therefore, surprised that claims or assertions it did not make in its initial Statement have been attributed to it by the Electoral Commission of Ghana in a press statement and at a press conference,” he said.
To address the seeming misrepresentation of thoughts, the coalition said it did not indicate anywhere in its statement that the shooting incident took place at a Polling Station, neither did it link the EC to the incident.
The coalition reiterated its stand that: “CODEO observers witnessed the violent incident, including shooting incident, which took place in the La Bawaleshie area at East Legon.
The coalition stands by the account of its observers and is ready to cooperate with the EC and the security agencies to undertake further investigation into the matter”.
The group further states that its sole interest is not to back any particular group or political party but to ensure that through elections, Ghana remains peaceful.
When asked what the coalition’s recommendations were for subsequent elections and by-elections, Chairperson of the coalition, Professor Miranda Greenstreet said their recommendations would be included in a report that would be released in a few days.
“Recommendations will be based on all that we’ve observed…It will be improper to make recommendations now when we have not given you the full report,” she said.
By Grace Ablewor Sogbey