THE COMMISSIONER of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Lauretta Vivian Lamptey has said the just ended presidential and parliamentary elections were free, fair and reflected the will of the electorate.

She said although there were some irregularities and challenges, they were not significant enough to affect the outcome of the results.

Ms Lamptey made this known during the launch of the commission?s preliminary report on the December 7 general elections. The report formed part of activities to mark this year?s United Nations (UN) Human Rights Day Celebration in Accra.

She said electioneering campaigns were peaceful, adding that the polling processes on December 7, and 8, counting, collation and certification of results at the polling stations was done in a transparent manner.

Ms Lamptey said apart from a few incidents associated with campaigning in the regions with some resulting in various injuries and other isolated casualties, campaign programmes were largely successful and devoid of incident.

?Once again, Ghana has demonstrated by the conduct of this election, the sixth in a row of successful polls under the Fourth Republican democratic constitutional era, that it is indeed the beacon of democracy in Africa. Despite the few hiccups experienced, we can pat ourselves on the back for keeping the democratic trajectory,? she said.

Ms Lamptey congratulated Ghanaians for turning out in large numbers to vote and for the patience they exhibited in the light of challenges including those involving problems with the verification machines.

She also commended the EC, security forces and all stakeholders for organizing yet another successful general election.

Highlighting portions of the preliminary report, she said there were significant reports that polls did not start at the statutory time of 7am in a number of polling stations due to late arrival of EC officials and voting materials with some polling officials attributing it to lack of transportation.

Ms Lamptey said personnel from the security agencies were professional in performing their duties as they came under intense pressure from some irate voters who had formed long queues to exercise their franchise amidst numerous reports about glitches of the verification machines.

She said some chiefs were also seen flouting the constitutional injunction not to engage in active partisan politics. She cited a chief who was observed campaigning at an NDC rally at the Kulikuli School in the Northern region.

By Cephas Larbi   

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