The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has urged Ghana’s Electoral Commission (EC) to retrieve all six (6) ballot boxes that got missing in the Western Region on Friday.
The Electoral Commission in Western Region confirmed to Citi News that six of the boxes meant for the December elections fell off a truck on the way to the region earlier this month.
The Commission said it will replace the six missing boxes but the PPP said it must instead work to retrieve the lost ones.
They warned that if the six boxes are not found before the December polls, some unscrupulous persons will use it to foment trouble on the day of the polls.
A policy analyst of the party, Kofi Asamoah Siaw told Citi News the Commission must re-look at its process of distribution of electoral materials to prevent losses and any form of security breaches.
“The danger is that, if it is not found, it will be utilized by some mischief makers on Election Day and we start seeing ballot boxes popping up in various part of the region and causing confusion.”
“Even though this is a minor issue, we need to retrieve these boxes so that, it doesn’t get into the hands of mischief makers. The Electoral Commission must be careful with how they distribute electoral materials so some of these things do not happen.”
“Already, there is so much confusion and lack of trust around the work of the Commission so the least we expect is having some of these things happening.”
Meanwhile, the People National Congress (PNC) says it suspect foul play in the incident.
The party’s General Secretary, Atik Mohammed told Citi News, the development showed the unpreparedness of the EC to hold a smooth and credible elections.
“How did it happen that those boxes fall off the back of the truck. What it means is that the integrity of the remaining ballot boxes have been compromised. People are saying this is no big deal and it can be replaced, but let us not forget that there is a phenomenon of snatching, so that if these are unaccounted for and retrieved, some unscrupulous individuals will snatch ballot boxes and swapo them with these missing ones and run away.”
“This exposes the weakness in the security and unpreparedness of the EC to have a smooth process. We suspect a foul play. From whose quarters we are unsure at this moment but we certainly think that this is not ordinary,” he said.
‘6 ballot boxes missing’
The Western Regional office of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) who raised the alarm on Saturday said ““on 16th of November 2016, when the ballot boxes were being transported to the various constituencies in the region, in between Tarkwa, six of the boxes went missing. It was reported to the Tarkwa Police; but later had to be reported to the Kwesimintsim Police Command on Friday. We got wind of it and we were told the police have started investigations it.”
The Western Regional Director of the Electoral Commission (EC), Stephen Opoku Mensah told Citi News, “Yes; the incident that the NPP is talking about happened; but it was not that it was stolen. Six empty boxes fell off on the road when they were being transported; but the police are looking into the matter. He downplayed allegations of any foul play, and called for calm.”
‘Missing ballots will be replaced’
The Electoral Commission said that it will replace the six (6) ballot boxes before Election Day on December 7th.
In a post on its official Facebook page, the EC stated that, “for the six empty ballot boxes that fell off the pickup truck in the Western Region, a report has been made to the police. They will be replaced by the Commission before election day”.