The Electoral Commission (EC) has staunchly defended its handling of the District Level Elections (DLEs), refuting allegations of poor conduct and emphasizing that the elections met the expected standards despite the challenges encountered.
The District Level Elections, which took place nationwide on Tuesday, December 19, 2023, faced various challenges, resulting in the postponement of elections in some district assemblies to Thursday, December 21, 2023.
Approximately 40 districts in the Ashanti and Eastern Regions experienced issues such as errors on ballot papers, delays in the distribution of voting materials, and non-functional Biometric Verification Devices (BVD).
Criticism was directed at the EC for what some stakeholders deemed a poor performance in the elections.
However, Dr. Bossman Asare, the Deputy EC Chair in charge of Corporate Services, dismissed these claims during an interview monitored by newsandvibes.com on Eyewitness News on Citi FM with Umaru Sanda Amadu i
Dr. Asare unequivocally rejected the allegations, asserting that the EC successfully fulfilled the expectations set for the elections.
In defending the EC’s position, Dr. Asare highlighted the inherent complexities of organizing local polls, distinguishing the challenges faced in the district-level elections and the management of general elections.
“We didn’t perform abysmally; in the district-level elections, we had elections in 12,500 different places. The national election is different. What we did in 2023, the national elections this year will be about 8% to 10% of that. Don’t forget, in the district-level elections, we did it at 12,500 different places. I’m not talking about polling stations, different electoral areas, and units.
“But 2024 elections, we are going to do them in about 277 different types of elections, they are so different. That of 2023 [local polls] is more complex. In every electoral area, you have a candidate for assembly or a candidate for the unit committee.
“But in the national elections, the whole of Ghana for the presidential is one constituency. That one [national elections] is less complex and different than the district-level elections, so anyone who compares the two doesn’t understand the two types of elections. We had some technical challenges.”
Dr. Asare assured of the EC’s preparedness to conduct the 2024 elections in November, as against December 7, if all political parties agree to their proposal.
The National Democratic Congress has rejected the proposal and suggested 2028, citing EC’s failure to release a calendar for activities for the year.
He said the calendar is ready and will be released to the political parties next week.
“The calendar is ready and will be available to the political parties next week. The EC has done this in the past; are we saying that if we know convincingly that we cannot do it, we will come out openly to say we will do it? he asked.