A leading member of anti-corruption group, OccupyGhana, Sydney Casely-Hayford has said that he is certain this year’s election will be rigged.
His comment comes to support a recent statement issued jointly by the presidential candidates of the National Democratic Party (NDP), Progressive People’s Party (PPP) and the People’s National Congress (PNC) that the upcoming polls will not be free and fair.
According to Mr Casely-Hayford, there were too many things that could possibly go wrong in the electoral process which could facilitate rigging of the polls.
He said the position of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), as dominant forces on the country’s political terrain made it difficult for other political parties to have their concerns addressed because the Electoral Commission appeared to be giving priority to the NDC and the NPP.
“The rivalry between the NDC and the NPP is not providing enough space for the people of this country to have their voices heard and the right thing to be done. I believe the elections will be rigged. I have no reservations whatsoever in saying this. I will be rigged by one party or the other,” he said on The Big Issue on Saturday.
He said the desire to get into power and amass wealth unto one’s self will drive one of the contesting political parties to rig the elections.
“There are too many things that can possibly go wrong; the printing of the pink sheets, the actual count of the voter’s register,” Cassely-Hayford said.
With about a week to the 2016 general elections, some Ghanaians have expressed uncertainty over the credibility of the polls following the numerous concerns raised by some political parties including the New Patriotic Party.
‘2016 elections will not be free and fair’
A joint statement issued by three Presidential candidates; Papa Kwesi Nduom, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings and Edward Mahama said they had not been given even opportunities to campaign ahead of the elections.
The statement said the Electoral Commission (EC) used the electoral laws as an oppressive tool against them, forcing them to spend six weeks in court to litigate the injustice.
“This election has witnessed the clearest ever abuse of incumbency on the part of the NDC and the use the State’s security agencies and party thugs to intimidate other opponents.”
“We call on the various Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), National Peace Council, the CODEO and the international community “to take steps to reverse these disturbing trends so that we can have proper free and fair elections in the future since free and fair elections for 7th December 2016 have escaped us.”