Thursday, September 10, 2015

Defeated Assemblyman To Drag EC To Court

EC Boss, Charlotte Osei

One of the defeated Assembly members in the West Mamprusi District of the Northern Region is threatening to drag the Electoral Commission (EC) to Court for allegedly presiding over an incident of “over voting” in one of the polling stations at Walewale in the just ended District Level Election.

The 31 year old discontented Assemblyman, Aziz Dingana, who is also a teacher told Savannahnews that, he had sought the advice of his Lawyer and was ready to take legal action against the EC for failing to address the issue of “over voting” he had raised after the election.

He explained that out of the 722 registered voters, 458 voted and were verified by the Biometric Verification Machine. But during counting, it was detected that 461 people had voted indicating an “over voting” of three (3) votes. 

Two of the agents for the three candidates according to Mr. Dingana refused to sign or accept the results. But the EC officials insisted that they should append their signatures, which attracted confrontations from the supporters of the contestants.

After recounting for the third time, there was a detection of three excess votes. He said that the Sagadugu polling station was won by one James Sampana with 391 votes followed Aziz Dingana (Complainant) with 38 votes, 29 spoilt votes and 3 votes for the other candidate. 

According to Mr. Aziz Dingana, even though he was aware that the three votes suspected to be in excess could not still make him a winner in that polling station when added to his vote, he was interested in ensuring that the “right thing was done by the EC”.

He asserted that the attempt by the EC to give a blind eye to the over voting, if not condemned could be translated into the 2016 election.

The defeated Assemblyman told Savannahnews that he was expecting the EC to cancel the result in that Sagadugu polling to avoid any form of irregularity.

“I am contesting this issue not because I lost but because it can repeat itself in the 2016 general elections. I know if they add the three votes to mine, I will still not win, but I expect that the right thing should be done”.  Election is supposed to be free and fair, but that is not what happened in the Sagadugu polling station”, he fumed.

Mr. Dingana asserted that he was asked by the West Mamprusi District EC to come for further discussion on the matter. But to his dismay, they went ahead and declared the results two days before the day fixed for him.
However, when Savannahnews contacted the Northern Regional Director of the EC, Mr. Bruce Ayisi and his Deputy, Mr. Benjamin Bano-Bioh, they confirmed receiving complaints from Mr. Aziz Dingana after he lost the polls. 

According to them, the incident that occurred at the Sagadugu Polling Station could not be described as “over voting” and that it could not in any way affect the outcome of the election result at the polling station.  

“Over voting occurs only when the number of people who vote at a particular polling station exceed the number of voters in the Voters Registers,” they explained.

The Regional EC officials even though sympathized with Mr. Aziz Dingana and appreciated his efforts; they insisted that the District EC officials did no wrong in declaring the result. 

They said that the incident could probably result from some technical challenges from the Biometric Verification Device or any other way, but that they said could not have any effect on the result, since the difference between him and the winner was so wide.

However, they promised that the Regional EC was picking the mater up to ascertain what exactly brought about the three excess votes.

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