Saturday, January 8, 2022

Mahama never said EC thumb-printed 1m ballot papers – Afriyie Ankrah

The Director of Elections for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Elvis Afriyie Ankrah has defended former President John Mahama over allegations that he said the Electoral Commission thumb-printed one million ballot papers.

The Deputy Chairperson of the EC, in charge of Corporate Services, Bossman Asare said at a press conference on Moday, that, “the former president has said the EC thumb printed 1m ballots I favour of the NPP. This is untrue”

Speaking on Monday, he said Mr Mahama did not make such a statement

“The former president never said the EC thumb-printed over I million ballot papers,” he said.

The press briefing was held by the Electoral Commission to address some allegations made by Mr Mahama during his recent ‘thank you tours’.

Mr Bossman Asare said although EC believes the claims are false, allegations of ballot stuffing can undermine the credibility of the electoral process and thus should not be ignored.  He therefore charged the Police to investigate the allegation.

However Mr Afriyie Ankrah said Mr Bossman Asare’s comment, “is a deliberate obfuscation of the issues”, adding that “he [Mr Bossman] has “deliberately taken something out of context and he has created something else and he is asking for a response.”

Meanwhile, Mr Mahama’s actual words were, “More than one million ballot papers are created which the EC claimed happened by mistake but on the day of the election, some of the more than I million extra ballot had already been secretly thumb-printed in favor of the NPP and so these things dented the credibility of the polls and caused an embarrassment,” he told the Divisional Chief of Prestea, Nana Nteboah Pra.

Mr Afriyie Ankrah further explained that, what the NDC said which can be proved by video and documentary evidence is “After ballot papers were printed and dispatched in one of the printing houses, Unolink for Ashanti Region, they were dispatched, certificates of disposal were issued to show that all the excess ballots had been destroyed.

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“There was an issue with one constituency, so we had to come back with our agents, when we came, we discovered over one million ballot papers and those papers when they were questioned, they gave conflicting answers and based on that we insisted that those ballots be destroyed… we took it to Korle Gonno, we videoed it and they were destroyed. These are factual evidences.

“Then on the Election Day, there were several ballot papers that were discovered, several people were arrested with actual thumb-printed ballots. And then several of the thump-printed ballots were found in the Ashanti Region.”

He emphasized that there is a difference between the 1 million ballot papers found which were printed for Ashanti Region alone on their blind side of which the agents at the polling station knew nothing about and the ones found in the ballot boxes.

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