Jean Mensa

The Electoral Commission (EC) has said it cannot be held accountable for the security breaches and skirmishes witnessed at some registration centres across the country in the ongoing voter registration exercise.

Several chaotic scenes have been recorded in some registration centres in the ongoing exercise.

At Banda in the Bono Region, for instance, one person, a teacher trainee graduate, was killed during a confrontation at a registration centre.

Mr Collins Dauda, the Member of Parliament for Asutifi South, was allegedly pepper-sprayed while monitoring the exercise at some centres at Acherensua, a town in the Asutifi South constituency.

The latest is the confusion that ensued at Kasoa on Monday, 20 July 2020 where the sitting MP, Hawa Koomson, shot a gun at a registration centre as chaos marred the exercise that day.

Three motorcycles were burnt and EC officials took to their heels after gun-wielding men disrupted the process.

Some institutions have blamed the EC for the security lapses at its registration centres.  

Responding to the blame at a press conference in Accra on Wednesday, 22 July 2020, the Chairperson of the election management body, Mrs Jean Mensa, said it is unfair to blame the commission for the skirmishes since it is not the EC’s responsibility to provide security.

She said: “As citizens, we all have a responsibility to ensure that we maintain the peace within the country … Some institutions are trying to place the security at the doorstep of the commission and while we continue on a daily basis at the national, regional and district level to engage with the security forces to ensure there is safety and protection for all citizens at our registration offices, we do not think it is the commission’s sole responsibility to be responsible for security and we reject that assertion made by institutions that the commission should be held responsible for security.”

Ms Mensa explained that the EC “as far back as 2019, started putting in place security arrangements. We briefed the security on our flashpoint areas, providing them with the details of our registration centres, our movement plans and so on and so forth. And that’s why we continue to experience and witness security presence at all the registration centres across the country.”

“We will continue to work with them and we are doing this on a daily basis, hour-by-hour, briefing them on happenings and engaging with them on how to ensure the safety and stability and security of all registrants at every registration centre across the country. But we think that it doesn’t auger well for us when institutions will seek to blame the EC for security lapses…,” she added.  

By Media1

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