The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) provided preliminary findings regarding the conduct of the presidential and general elections. The Preliminary statements is based on the reports CODEO received from 1,447 of 1550 PVT Observers form every region and constituency, with the exception of Jaman North in Brong Ahafo Region as of mid-night on Wednesday December 7, 2016. Due the quality transfer voters’ list; voting was suspended in the Jaman North Until Thursday December 8, 2016.
Justice Charles Crabbe, Co-chair of CODEO stated that 99% of polling stations, electoral officials respected CODEO observers’ status as Electoral Commission (EC)’s accredited election observers and permitted them to observe the polls. She added only 1% initially had challenges which were quickly and successfully resolved. Preliminary analysis of CODEO PVT observers report on set-up and opening of polls.
“At the time of the set-up, the two, main political parties had their party agents present in almost all polling stations, NDC 99.3%; NPP 99.5% respectively. The presence of party agents of the parties fielding presidential candidates and independent presidential candidate varied from 12.3% to 28.4% of the polling stations while party agents for parties only contesting the parliamentary election were present in 7.3% that of the polling stations” he detailed.
VOTING AND COUNTING
Prof. Miranda Greenstreet, Co-chiar of CODEO further went on to give percentages of voting proceedings in the various districts observed by PVT observers. She listed the percentage of stamped ballot papers, failed biometric machines in some regions, the percentage of people who were not rejected by the biometric device and those who with valid ID cards had their finger prints rejected by the BVD, percentage of people marked with indelible ink among others.
CODEO observers in 98% of the polling stations reported zero incidents of harassment and intimidation of polling agents during the counting of ballots. Party agents were not prevented from observing the vote count in 97% of the polling stations, similarly 96% of polling stations permitted no authorized persons into the inner perimeter during ballot count, 90% of polling stations accepted the results and did not request for a recount for the presidential results, 83% of polling stations pasted presidential election results for the public eye and 82% of the polling stations as well as presiding officer in 99.8% signed the parliamentary results declaration form. In addition, 99.6% of CODEO Observers reported they agreed with the results, he added.
CODEO observers reported a total of 436 cases of verified incidents during the opening, voting and counting stages of the polling process. The Incidents centered around harassment and intimidation of polling officials, and voters was the most recorded 116, incidents of polling station either not open or opened late 66, unauthorized persons at polling stations 44, violence 34, voting or counting suspension 31 and polling station running out of materials 30. Most of these cases were resolved by the polling officials and key election stakeholders such as the security services, and thereby did not affect the polling process, Prof. Miranda Greenstreet informed.
CODEO condemned attempts by political parties to announce results and calls for calm ahead of EC declaration of results. The appeal was made at a press conference held at the CODEO National Information Center in Accra by the Coalition to share its preliminary findings.
Per Justice Crabbe, Co-chair of CODEO urged all political parties and citizens to be law abiding and allow EC to completed its work. He added that the CODEO can confidently confirm that the arrangement put in place by the EC for setup and opening of the polls were adequate for most polling stations, and that the polling and counting processes were generally credible.
Prof. Miranda Greenstreet stated that CODEO has completed its Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) and has its estimates for the presidential election results. However, in keeping with their protocols CODEO will release its PVT estimates for the presidential elections results following the official announcement by the EC to provide independent veridiction of their accuracy.