THE Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, has urged the general public to ignore any person or group that purports to announce the final results of the 2008 presidential election.
"The EC wishes to remind all Ghanaians that it is the only body in the country authorised by law to conduct public elections and declare their results," a statement signed by Dr Afari-Gyan and issued in Accra on Tuesday stated.
It said the EC would announce the time and place for the declaration of the 2008 presidential results when it was ready to do so.
Meanwhile, the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has asked the EC to comply with its 72-hour period for announcing the results of the presidential election, reports Caroline Boateng.
It said from reports of vote counting from a random sample of some 1,070 polling stations, it was in the position to project the likely outcome of the presidential race and would share those observations if the EC, after 72 hours, did not declare the results or give clear reasons why the results could not be given.
This was made known in a preliminary observation by CODEO on the conduct of the elections.
A member of the advisory board of CODEO, Rev Dr Fred Deegbe, when contacted and asked whether its action would not raise tension in the country, said CODEO would collaborate as much as possible with the EC.
However, it would share its observations on the presidential results if the EC was not forthcoming by its stipulated period of declaring the results, he added.
He said that action was to preserve the integrity and credibility of CODEO, as members did not want to be seen as conniving with anyone in not ensuring that the right things were done.
The observations, contained in a statement jointly signed by Prof Miranda Greenstreet and Mr Justice V.C.R.A.C. Crabbe, co-chairpersons of CODEO, however, said the 2008 presidential and parliamentary elections had been conducted in accordance with the electoral laws of Ghana and met international standards.
“The pre-election environment was relatively transparent, even and competitive, in spite of several challenges recorded,” said.
It said polling had been conducted in a credible, open and peaceful manner, while Ghanaians responded to the elections in “an enthusiastic and responsible way that demonstrated their commitment to work towards the sustenance of our democratic governance”.
Generally, CODEO said, the opening of polls and the setting up of polling stations had encountered few problems, with a third of the polling stations not setting up on time and some having some missing election materials during set up.
The voting process, it said, had been orderly and officials of the EC, to a large extent, enforced voting rules and regulations.
It said although no major problems were encountered, CODEO observers, however, reported seven cases of the suspension of voting in some polling stations in the Western, Eastern and Northern regions.
For instance, in the Akwatia Constituency, voting was suspended due to a clash between supporters of the National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party, resulting in the snatching of seven ballot boxes.
It said checks at the EC indicated that six of the boxes had been retrieved.
CODEO said its observers recorded 40 cases of missing electoral materials as of the time of set-up, six cases of disorder at poling stations, five cases of the violation of voting procedure, three cases of electoral officials turning away eligible voters and three cases of ineligible cases being allowed to vote.
It said in the vast majority of polling stations, that is, 92 per cent, political party agents did not challenge the results, while 95 per cent of the political party agents signed the declared results at the polling stations.
DAILY GRAPHIC, WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 10, 2008