Jean Mensa decries loss of lives during 2020 polls
The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Jean Mensa, has described the 2020 General election as historic, transparent, efficient, and cost-effective.
According to her, the fact that the comparative cost of the election was reduced by 41% which is equivalent to 90 million dollars and a voter turn-around time of between 10 and 12 minutes makes the election exemplary within the West African sub-region.
Speaking at a major forum at the opening ceremony of the 2021 ECOWAS Parliamentary Seminar in Winneba, Madam Jean Mensa however expressed regret about the loss of seven lives in the election.
“Notwithstanding inflation and price hikes and the fact that we incurred additional costs owing to the COVID-19 protocols we deployed throughout the election, we cut the cost per voter, from 13 dollars per head in 2016 to 7 dollars per head. Through a reduction in cost, we saved the government a formidable sum of $90 million.”
“We were met with many challenges, but we surmounted most of them and those we could not overcome, we learned from. Sadly, seven lives were lost, and though these did not occur at our polling stations or arise as a result of misconduct on our part, one life lost is one too many. We are hoping that our security agencies will share their findings and recommendations for future learning”.
The Commission had initially heaped praises on itself for the way the election was conducted, regardless of the deaths and the many disagreements that eventually led to an election petition by the opposition NDC’s Presidential Candidate, John Dramani Mahama, to challenge the presidential results at the Supreme Court.
There were 61 recorded cases of electoral and post-electoral violence across the country, according to the police.
Six members of the Minority earlier tabled a private members’ motion in the House seeking a full-scale probe into the acts of violence that occurred in the 2020 general elections.
The MPs; Haruna Iddrisu, Muntaka Mubarak, Mahama Ayariga, Alhassan Suhuyini, and James Agalga want the scope of the probe to take a look at the inappropriate interferences by state security in the elections, and violence against citizens, leading to the loss of lives.
They insist the IGP and other security agencies reneged on a promise to Parliament and Ghanaians to protect lives.
Many have criticized the government for doing little about the violence and the deaths through an investigation to bring the perpetrators to book.
2020 election deaths have dented Ghana’s image – Ibn Chambas
The immediate past Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, has said the deaths that were recorded in the 2020 general elections have dented the country’s image.
According to him, Ghana needs to work to reclaim its enviable democratic credentials on the continent.