The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has raised red flags over the sanctity of the impending Amenfi West by-election.
The party fears the fairness of the contest may be compromised following the tampering of the seal on one of the bags containing ballot papers for the polls.
The Electoral Commission (EC) is expected to conduct the election set for Tuesday December 15, 2015, to elect a new member of parliament for the constituency.
The by-election to be held in accordance with Article 112 (5) of the Constitution as amended, follows the sudden death on October 13, of the then MP John Gyetuah.
Speaking to Fiifi Banson on Anopa Kasapa on Kasapa 102.3 FM, the National Organizer of the NPP John Boadu stated that upon arrival of the electoral materials in Asankragua from Accra, and as has been the custom, the EC held an inspection session for the political parties during which the NPP noticed that one of the bags had been tempered with.
“We raised this concern because we want this contest to be organized in a very fair manner. From Accra to Asankragua is about seven to eight hours and considering the distance anything could happen to these bags containing the ballot papers. If we win this election, we want to do so in a fair manner and when we also lose, we so so fairly.”
However speaking in reaction to the NPP’ claim, the Western Regional Director of the EC, Steve Opoku Mensah admitted that the seal on one of the bags had been broken, but was quick to add that it wasn’t done deliberately.
He noted that the various parties in the contest have reached an agreement on how to deal with the problem.
“We have decided that whoever issues out a ballot paper aside stamping the back of the paper should also append his signature, so that eventually when the ballots are being countered, any sheet that does not bear the two forms of identification will be deemed foreign ballot papers” Steve Opoku Mensah said.”
The Amenfi West seat can be said to be a safe seat for the ruling National Democratic Congress, as it has occupied it for nearly two decades. It however remains to be seen how the NPP will fair in the elections.