Editorial: We salute the Electoral Commission

The Member of Parliament for Kwadaso, Prof Kingsley Nyarko, was seen in a video that went viral during the just ended Ejisu by-election dropping a white envelope on the table of two Electoral Commission (EC) Officials who were then supervising the poll.

Whatever discussion that took place between the MP the two EC officials is not known to the public. The Kwadaso MP was, however, seen dipping his hand into his back pocket, pulled out a white envelope, which he was trying to give to the electoral officers, but he was rather asked to drop it on the table.

The EC, which was apparently embarrassed about what happened, quickly issued a statement to condemn the conduct of the MP. They did not end there, but immediately went ahead to withdraw the electoral officers from supervising the election.

The EC also made it known to the public that the conduct of the person seen in the video giving out the envelope had been reported to the police for a full criminal investigation into the case.

The Chronicle commends the EC for the swift manner they reacted to the issue when it emerged on social media, which they themselves quoted. Many developing counties, especially in Africa, have been plunged into chaos as a result of election related issues. Though we have conducted elections since 1992 that are relatively peaceful, it does not mean Ghana is immune from some of these election related violence.

What has even made the situation very dire is the high stake in this year’s election. Whilst the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is working hard to break the eight year cycle of governance, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has also vowed to win the election. With this posture, any little spark can potentially throw this peaceful country into chaos.

This is the reason why the EC must work hard to ensure that the election is free and fair, with the loser generously accepting defeat. If the EC had, therefore, closed its eyes to the Ejisu incident, it would have created the wrong impression that one can use money to buy the December elections. But the swift reaction has sent a strong signal to the political parties that the law will deal with them if they dare misbehave.

Though Prof Nyarko has denied that he intended to bribe the EC officials and that, the content of the envelope was meant for lunch, The Chronicle thinks it is not compelling enough for the EC and the police to discard the case.

They must pursue it to its logical conclusion. The MP should have known that even if the envelope was meant for lunch, giving it out publicly, as he did, will definitely send wrong signal to the people around the area.

The Chronicle is happy that the NDC was not involved in this particular poll. If they were, the conduct of Kwadaso MP would have been blown out of proportion and one can imagine what would have happened by now. The impression would have been created that the whole election was bought and that it was not free and fair.

We believe those who have been painting the EC and its chairperson in a bad light will now revise their notes. What she has done is a clear signal that she is ready to conduct free and fair elections in December 2024. As a country, we must give praise where it is due and not always commenting only on the negatives.


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