The National Democratic Congress did not withdraw from the by-election as far as the Electoral Commission is concerned, Chairperson Jean Mensa has declared.
Addressing a room full of journalists, Madam Jean Mensa revealed that although national executives of the opposition NDC held a press conference in response to the mishap which occurred at the Presbyterian Basic School at the Bawaleshie Polling station in the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency the name of their candidate was not taken off the ballot as the Commission was not officially informed.
“… we’re not aware that the candidate withdrew from the polls. We were not informed officially that the NDC candidate has withdrawn from the polls. What we were informed was that the agent of the party had been withdrawn from the polling station,” she explained.
Elaborating further, Deputy Commissioner Samuel Tetteh noted that candidates who wanted to be withdrawn had to do that before the ballots are printed. He, however, stated that agents could be withdrawn and replaced at any time during the electoral process.
A fraction of the minority in Parliament, NDC executives and party enthusiasts were of the view that the results of the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election were not credible because their candidate was withdrawn from the electoral process as a result of a shooting incident at his residence.
Addressing journalists on the incident on Friday, the leader of the Minority Haruna Iddrisu said Thursday “will pass as a blot on the conscience of our democratic evolution with what was observed and what has been appropriately reported”.
“We, therefore, are unable to accept even the outcome of the election as one which was credible and one which was free and fair.
“For those of you who understand the use of the word free in an election, it means the outcome, the process of the election and the activity of the election must be free from fear, free from intimidation and free from violence,” Iddrisu said.
He added that “Yesterday’s violence associated with the conduct of the election in our strongest view cannot produce a Member of Parliament unless that Member of Parliament wants to be a product of a violent outcome of an election. It tells even in the outcome of the election”.
Several individuals and bodies have condemned the dastardly act with former President Mahama cutting short his regional tour as a result.
“I want to sound a caution that NDC has a revolutionary root and when it comes to unleashing violence no one can beat us to that. It is just that we midwife this country’s democracy and that is why we must be the first to respect it. That is why we are acting as a party that is docile and respecting the rule of law. But if we believe that the government cannot protect our people and we believe that the government is using its vigilante groups and illegal forces to intimidate and harass and injure our people, then we may have to advise ourselves”. The former President is reported to have said.