Editor-in-chief of private newspaper, New Crusading Guide, Kweku Baako Jr, has condemned leaders of the main opposition New Patriotic Party who openly displayed their in the party’s Sunday mini congress.
He said breaching the secrecy of such elections was unacceptable.
Former General Secretary of the NPP, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, also known as ‘Sir John’, and party Chairman Paul Afoko, were among some senior members alleged to have openly displayed their vote in the elections which went on simultaneously across the country to whittle down the number of seven flagbearer-aspirants to five, per the party’s constitution, which stipulates that such a congress be held if more than five people contested the slot.
Other party members who took part in Sunday’s mini congress also allegedly took photos of their vote with their mobile phones before casting their ballot.
Article 49 of Ghana’s 1992 Constitution provides that: “At any public election or referendum, voting shall be by secret ballot.”
The Representation of the Peoples Law 1992 states: “Every election officer, clerk, interpreter, candidate, election agent or polling agent on duty at a polling station shall maintain and help in maintaining the secrecy of voting and shall not, except for a purpose authorised by law, communicate to any person any information”.
The Regulations further prescribe that: “The presiding officer, on the application of a voter who is incapacitated because of blindness or other physical cause from voting in the manner directed in these Regulations, shall permit the voter to be assisted by a person of his own choice” (Public Elections Regulations 1996, 27).
Baako told Joy FM’s news analysis programme Newsfile Saturday that even though the NPP’s super delegates’ congress was a party event rather than a national election, the conduct of those who displayed their vote was condemnable.
His position was supported by former Attorney General Nii Ayikoi Otoo, who was a co-discussant on the programme hosted by Samson Lardy Ayenini.