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General News
Fomena By-election was free and fair -CDD-Ghana 1/29/2007
Accra, Jan. 26, GNA - The Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD - Ghana) on Friday described Fomena Constituency By-election as "freely and fairly contested". A statement signed by Mr John Larvie, Senior Programme Officer of CDD, said: 93The Electoral Commission (EC) put enough personnel and materials on the ground to ensure a hitch-free electoral process." CDD said the EC deployed many high-level officials into the Constituency to help with the logistical arrangements and by early dawn on Election Day all the 45 polling stations had received the necessary supply of personnel and materials to conduct the polls. The statement said CDD observers saw party agents working closely with polling teams in many polling stations. However, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) did not deploy any agents to the Dadwen and Kyekyewere areas because of a controversy over the code numbers given to them. They had Obuasi Constituency code numbers. It said both the EC and the two leading parties 96 NDC and New Patriotic Party (NPP) - appeared to have been aware of the anomaly since Election 2000 but allowed it to prevail. The NDC this time around wanted the anomaly corrected, since it was illegal, or else it would not endorse the results if votes from those areas were included in the final results. The CDD said the security for the elections was more than adequate and to some extent intimidating. The CDD recommended that political parties, the EC, National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and civic educators should join hands to foster a peaceful atmosphere during elections to minimise the need for such heavy security presence. It said the EC should not allow legal anomalies to prevail just because the political parties appeared to accept them, adding that this was necessary to protect the EC from having its credibility unfairly doubted. CDD said: 93It may be helpful for the EC to publicize all tacit and explicit arrangements agreed upon among the political parties at all levels of the IPAC. This will help to sustain IPAC as an effective electoral conflict resolution mechanism." It observed that while the NDC had 93every right to seek redress for their complaints" it was 93absolutely essential that parties continue to dialogue with the EC to adjudicate all complaints as a first option".


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