The flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Mahama, has urged stakeholders in the country, including the Electoral Commission (EC), to ensure that the December 7th, 2024 Presidential and Parliamentary elections are conducted in a free and fair manner.

Delivering a public lecture at Christian Service University in Kumasi as part of the university’s 50th anniversary on the theme “Sustainability of Democracy in Africa: The Ghanaian Experience,” the former President said, “Disputed elections, as witnessed in other African countries, have triggered civil unrest resulting in loss of human lives. So, elections have the potential to disrupt peace, which is why we emphasize that elections must be transparent, free, and fair.”

The former President further explained that if elections can be free and fair, there is a need to have a fair arbitrator who is not a partisan referee and who will be fair, transparent, and neutral between the political parties.

He said, “Dr. Afari Gyan was the electoral commissioner with several deputies, and he conducted several elections. Up till today, Dr. Afari Gyan is respected as one of the best electoral commissioners in the whole of Africa. Charlotte Osei was appointed by me as the electoral commissioner, yet the elections that she supervised, I lost. This points to the need for fairness and non-partisanship. Up till today, the NPP describes the election as the best and fairest election that has ever been held.”

The NDC flag bearer explained that they are not accusing the Electoral Commission for nothing, stressing that in the 2020 elections, a lot of things went wrong on the part of the Electoral Commission, which must be avoided in the upcoming elections.

“There were several issues raised and reiterated about the Electoral Commission not being as neutral as expected. Indeed, it must be true that this government concocted reasons to remove three electoral commissioners and replaced them with people of their choice who are known for their NPP credentials,” he said.

He added that even though the President has the right to appoint, the President must ensure that the people he appoints are not openly known to be affiliated with any political party, which this President did not care about.

“People who were patrons of TESCON are today sitting as electoral commissioners. If you go to the Bono region and ask about one of the deputy commissioners, Appiagyei, he was their elections director, IT director, and a communication member. Who do you expect such a person to be neutral in his work?” he asked.

Speaking on the day-to-day running of the Electoral Commission and national election activities, Mr. Mahama accused the Electoral Commission of demonstrating total bias against the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

“This Electoral Commission has demonstrated that the commissioner cannot be neutral in the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections. A commissioner said the NDC is the most serious existential threat to Ghana’s democracy, and he is still a commissioner. How do you expect somebody like that to conduct a free and fair election? So, despite the adversity, the Electoral Commission will do its best to prove me wrong in this election.”

After justifying his claims, the former President said the NDC is not asking the Electoral Commission to rig the elections for them.

“We are just asking them to conduct a free and fair election for the country and let the will of Ghanaians prevail. That’s all we are looking for. But as Azumah Nelson said, this time we are going into the elections with our own referee. We will knock down the NPP to the level that the Electoral Commission can never overturn the results for the NPP,” Mahama assured.

Source: Ghana/ Bediako