Nana Akufo-Addo in early lead as Electoral Commission says 14 results so far received from regional collation centres

Gbenga ADANIKIN reporting from Accra, Ghana

JEAN Adukwei Mensah, Chairperson of the Ghana Electoral Commission on Wednesday says the commission has so far received 14 out of 16 results from the Regional Collation Centres, thus awaiting two outstanding results from two regions.

One of the regions is the Northern Region where Mensah complained of over-voting, a situation she said the commission was addressing. The Bono East Region is the next affected area.

“The commission has received 14 out of the 16 regional results,” she said while explaining the collation process.

“From the polling units level, the results are sent to the constituency collation centres in the presence of the party agents. And at the constituency collation centres, all results from the polling units are collated, recorded on the polling sheets and signed by all agents of the political parties from the polling units to the regional collation centre…”

The regional collation centre, she disclosed was introduced as a new initiative as part of measures to further promote transparency in the election process. Unlike previous elections where constituency collated results are sent to the national collation centre at the electoral commission headquarters, the constituency results are sent to the regional collation centre.

As such, every region collates constituency results in its region, thus “if a region has  20 constituencies, you find on the regional collation sheet the details of 20 constituency results. Additionally, you also have a regional signing sheet. And you have the political parties involved. They verify and approve it thus makes it difficult for anybody to rig the election.”

But as of the time of her briefing, Nana Akufo-Addo, the incumbent President contesting under the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has so far polled 6,375,560 votes while the major opposition candidate, John Mahama, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) candidate got 5,879,737.

The entire 16 regions in Ghana include Ahafo, Ashanti, Bono East, Bono, Central, Eastern and Greater Accra. Others are the North East region, Northern, Oti, Savannah, Upper East, Upper West, Volta, Western North and the Western Region.

All the regions are also made of 275 Constituencies from where Members of Parliaments (MPs) are elected to legislate for the next four years.

But the commission, she noted is working with the political party agents at the National Collation Centre within the Commission’s headquarter to review all the election results so far received.

“Two representatives each from the political parties, including representatives from the national democratic congress, are at the commission, working with the commission’s staff at the national collation centres,” Mensah disclosed.

According to her, 258 Constituencies from the 275 have so far been cleared. There are 17 constituencies left.

Also, from the 14 results received from the regional collation centres, only seven have been certified.

Reports from local media showed results from the parliamentary election has so far been tightly shared between the two major parties. The NPP got 131 seats while the NDC won 126.

In the briefing, the Resident Electoral Officer, however, apologised for the commission’s inability to declare the presidential result in 24 hours as promised.

The commission had earlier boasted the election result would be made public on Tuesday, 5 pm about 24 hours after the poll.

A total of 17,027,655 registered voters from about 17,027,641 eligible Ghanaian voters were expected to vote at the December 7 poll across the 38,622 polling stations in the country.

Based on the election declaration system, winner of the presidential election must have also polled 50 per cent of the total valid votes cast plus one.

    The ICIR, however, gathered that for the major candidates to satisfy the above requirement, Akufo-Addo may need to poll extra 300, 000 votes while Mahama would need at least 800,000 votes from the two regions.

    These figures amount to about 1 million votes to determine the winner of the election.

    “We want the media to highlight some of these issues to inform the political parties. It may be important to share some of these details on your websites,” Mensah advised the media organisations as findings revealed that both parties and their loyalists have been celebrating, claiming victory even though the electoral body is yet to finally announce the winner of the presidential election.

    “We are updating some of the results that have been declared on our websites to show how the results are arrived at.”

    Olugbenga heads the Investigations Desk at The ICIR. Do you have a scoop? Shoot him an email at [email protected]. Twitter Handle: @OluAdanikin

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