A parliamentary aspirant, John Adanu has questioned the decision of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to declare Edem Agbana winner of the Ketu North parliamentary primary.
He wondered why the Council after identifying three unstamped ballots declared them as valid, on the premise that they had corresponding serial numbers with that of the booklet provided.
Addressing the press, Mr. Adanu entreated the party’s hierarchy to take a critical look at the NDC’s constitution and guidelines for internal elections.
After three rounds of counting, both aspirants polled 358 votes, after the Electoral Commission officials identified three unstamped ballots, two in favour of Edem Agbana, and one in favour of John Adanu.
However, Mr. Agbana earlier insisted that he won the primary with 360 votes against his opponent’s 359 votes, though the EC had declared a runoff.
At a press engagement on Tuesday, 16th May 2023, the NDC General Secretary, Fifi Kwetey announced that NEC came to a consensus that the three unstamped ballot papers were taken out of the original ballot booklet provided.
“By and large, we got a consensus coming across the table that the ballot papers [in question] were an integral part of the booklet of ballots that came from the national office that went to that constituency. And therefore they were not foreign materials. We also checked and saw that there was no over-voting. The tallying process done by the agents of the candidates tallied with all the ballot papers found in the ballot box”, he said.
Mr. Adanu found this decision unfortunate and unfair to his candidacy and supporters.
“The key point in this determination is that the serial numbers on the ballots in question are from the booklet used in the constituency election and since there is no over-voting these ballots cannot be said to be foreign materials.
“This means, as far as our internal elections are concerned, the stamping of ballot papers is irrelevant, given no over-voting and the correspondence of serial numbers to the booklets.
“We can vote using unstamped ballots and hope that there is no over voting to make elections credible? If these ballots were removed during sorting, will we be here? Or the fact that they were taken out after the recount and not even after the EC’s declaration makes them valid? Can our members accept this if it occurs to us in the national elections? This really worries me”, he said.
He, however, affirmed his continuous support for the growth of the NDC in the constituency and the ultimate goal of winning power in 2024.
“These concerns notwithstanding, I remain positive about the cause of the party for victory in 2024. My prayer is that this does not come to haunt us in the future, and I pray that one day this precedent will be corrected no matter how long it takes. Before that future comes, I will make myself available to contribute to such an effort”, he further indicated.
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