Former President John Dramani Mahama has revealed that, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is ready to engage the Electoral Commission (EC) in positive dialogue with a view to addressing the flaws of the present electoral process and come out with one that responds to the expectations of all going into 2024 elections if the country is to avoid the unfortunate incidents that characterized 2020 polls.
Mr Mahama had levelled accusations against the EC after the 2020 elections. He blamed the commission of thumb printing one million ballot papers in favour of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in the 2020 elections.
He alleged when he met the Divisional Chief of Prestea Himan, Nana Nteboah Prah, recently, as part of his Thank You tour of the Western Region that “More than one million extra ballot papers were printed, which the EC claimed happened by mistake but on the day of the elections, some of the more than one million extra ballot papers had already been secretly thumb-printed in favour of the NPP.”
“…. and, so, all these things dented the credibility of the polls and caused an embarrassment,” the Presidential Candidate of the NDC in the 2020 general elections added.
Speaking at a forum held in Accra on Wednesday November 10 to climax his thank you tour, Mr Mahama indicated “We in the NDC have duly learned useful, even if bitter lessons, from the entire episode.
“We are willing to engage the EC in constructive dialogue with a view to addressing the clear shortfalls of the present electoral process and fashion out one that meets the expectations of all if we are to avoid the unfortunate incidents of 2020.”
“We have started this process by proposing a number of reforms to the electoral process and we continue to carry out consultations with stakeholders. We look forward to having an opportunity with the Electoral Commission to discuss these reforms and their possible implementation.”
He added that “despite the disappointment of the loss, I deemed it appropriate to extend my appreciation and gratitude to Ghanaians who found me worthy enough to vote for in their millions. The over 6.2 million people who, according to the officially declared results, spent time in long queues over a period of 12 hours to vote for me, deserve all the appreciation I can muster. Their show of support is a great source of encouragement for me and the great NDC, which I led into the election, that we have the trust of Ghanaians and that with the right approach, we will be victorious next time.”
“That trust, was also reflected in the spectacular gains we made in the Parliamentary elections in which we moved from 106 seats to 137, marking an increase of 31. It is trite knowledge that but for the underhand manoeuvring and misuse of security agents to overturn the true outcome in several constituencies, we would be in the Majority in Parliament now.”
“I acknowledge the participation of those who chose to repose confidence in our opponents and voted for them. I extend thanks to them as well because their decision to exercise their franchise has left our democracy the richer for it.
“To give expression to my eternal gratitude to Ghanaians, I have in the last few months toured the length and breadth of this country to personally convey my thanks for this massive support. I interacted with Ghanaians across the political and socioeconomic divide and experienced the challenges that they are going through, both in rural and urban areas.
“Throughout these interactions, one thing has become resoundingly clear, and it is that our country is not on the right path. We are clearly headed for a major ditch if immediate action is not taken to arrest the short falls of EC.