Following allegations of vote-buying during the election of a representative for the Greater Accra Region to the Council of State, one of the defeated contestants has called for an expansion of the electoral college in order to curtail vote-buying during the election.
The defeated contestant, Desmond Decker, said expanding the college would stop the influence of money in the elections, since according to him, the number of delegates are only few.
This was in response to the allegations of vote-buying, by him and other defeated contestants in the elections, which produced business mogul and President of Groupe Ideal, Dr. Nii Kotei Dzani as the winner.
“That is why we are calling for the expansion of the Electoral College. If the Electoral College is expanded, some of these things can’t happen. Let’s say if you are given 33 people, it is easy for you to give 33 people GHc 1000 or GHc 2000,” Mr. Decker explained on Eyewitness News.
“…But it if you have an electoral college of 2,000 or 3,000 people, you can’t be giving GHc 5,000 to all of them, and that will be curtailed. So what we are asking for is the expansion of the electoral college, and they [the EC] should expand the electoral college and make sure that we open it up for the people to vote for the person they want to represent them at the Council of State.”
Delegates were taking pictures of ballots
Mr. Decker also alleged that there were some irregularities during the voting process, that suggested vote-buying as some delegates were taking pictures as proof of their ballot to favour of a particular candidate.
“I must say that I am really disappointed in the outcome of the results today. I must put it on record that the Electoral Commission’s (EC) Communications Director, Mr. Dzakpasu prevented some delegates from taking pictures while they were voting.”
Although Mr. Decker did not have any concrete evidence to back his claims, he insisted that “it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.”
“Clearly, the delegates knew the people they were going to vote for. Clearly, the delegates have received some money though we don’t know the amount and clearly, the delegates showed that they didn’t vote in the interest of the people the Greater Accra Region.”
No pictures in booths
The EC’s Director of Communications however denied making any intervention as indicated by Mr. Decker, insisting “nothing like that” happened during the elections.
Also speaking on Eyewitness News, Mr. Dzakpasu recounted that “there was only one gentleman who was going to vote and we saw that he was holding a phone and the delegates drew his attention. It came to our notice and we made sure that he didn’t go into the booth with the phone. Beyond that, I didn’t see anything.”
Mr. Dzakpasu stated that, there was no complaint to him, or the returning officer or any of the polling assistants.
By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana