Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Madam Jean Mensa has debunked reports that there were armed men at some of the polling stations during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election.
“That is not true . . . there were no armed policemen at any of the polling stations,” she said when she appeared before the Short Commission of Inquiry, Friday.
Heavily armed men wearing mask stormed the La-Bawaleshie electoral area; acting on intelligence and allegedly shot and injured some members of the National Democratic Congress.
However, Madam Jean Mensa says the EC has not received any such report and that even though they heard reports of gunshots, it came from the house of the NDC candidate; 140 metres away from the polling station.
“That is not true . . . there were no armed policemen at any of the polling stations . . . I had the opportunity to visit about 15 polling stations and there were no armed men. The Commissioners have also come out to report that there were no armed men . . . I didn’t sight or receive reports of policemen as high as 15 at a particular polling station and we have not received reports to that effect. We got a report that there has been a shooting incident in a home which was away from our polling stations; the shooting did not occur at the polling station but about 140 metres away from the polling station,” she told the Commission.
Going forward, the EC boss said they will join forces with the security services to ensure that the 2020 elections will be peaceful.
Meanwhile, she has also asked the various political parties to disband their vigilante groups to avoid violence in the future.
“We need to do a lot of public education; it is very important that we are all responsible. The Electoral Commission will continue to engage with the security. It is also important for the parties to disband their vigilante groups. If you look at what happened at the polling stations, it was not anything that had to do with our officers; they were conducting themselves very well . . . so we need to call on our parties to do away with the vigilantes . . . As far as the polling stations are concerned there was no violence, there was peace,” she added.