The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has hinted it will make declaration of the winner of presidential race of the November 2016 polls ahead of the official declaration by the Electoral Commission.
According to the NPP Director of Elections, Peter Mac Manu this decision of the party has been informed by their experience in the 2012 general elections. Mr. Manu made this announcement in Takoradi over the weekend as the time scheduled for the nation to go to theNovember 2016 polls tickles by.
Touching on the party’s 2016 manifesto, Mr Manu said the party has decided to delay the release to avoid it being plagiarized by the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC).
He disclosed the party does not want to repeat what happened in 2008 when NPP policies detailed in its manifesto were allegedly doctored and adopted by the NDC. The party’s Free Senior High School (SHS) policy was also ridiculed by the NDC as not doable, he added.
“We cannot sit down and repeat that same [mistake we did in the 2008] in 2016,” he said.
He disclosed the NPP has inaugurated its Sector Committees to draw the 2016 manifesto but it is not under compulsion to make its policies known to the public.
Mr Manu who is also a former National Chairman of the NPP said the November election will be a referendum on the performance of the Mahama-led government. He asserted “the good people of Ghana are saying for the eight years, tell us what you have done with the oil money. Tell us what you have done with the agriculture sector. Tell us what you have done with the electricity and electricity bills. That is what is on the table now.”
But speaking to Radio Maxx, the Western Region director of the Electoral Commission (EC), Steve Opoku Mensah condemned the decision of the NPP to declare the November 2016 results.
He said in strong terms that “political parties have no right to declare election results.”
Repeating the mandate of the EC, Mr Mensah said “Election results are always declared by Electoral Commission of Ghana and not political parties.” He said though political parties can collate their own results to determine the party that is winning the election, they do not have the power to make declarations.
“What they can do is that if there is a mistake on our [EC officials] part they can draw our attention to that and the correction will be effected,” he added.