The Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) has described as fake a Notice of Poll for the upcoming Kumawu by-election where two candidates have the same symbol circulating on social media.
Out of the four candidates on the notice of poll in circulation, the two independent candidates were wearing kente cloth with each having a symbol of a bird.
However, the EC in a statement has clarified that although a draft notice of poll, bearing the photograph of the independent candidates with similar names, attires and symbols was prepared and submitted to the commission at the district office, it was neither approved nor gazetted.
The statement further added that the EC based on its regulations has assigned a symbol of a hoe to one of the independent candidates.
“The attention of the Electoral Commission has been drawn to a Notice of Poll circulating on social media purporting to be that of the Kumawu By-Election. The Notice of Poll has the photos of two Independent Candidates, wearing kente cloth. The said Candidates have the symbol of a bird.
“For the information of the Public, both Independent Candidates presented photographs of themselves in kente and a picture of a bird as their symbol to our District Officer in Kumawu.
“Based on this, a draft Notice of Poll, bearing the photograph of the Independent Candidates with similar names, attires and symbols was prepared and submitted to the Commission for approval.
“It was neither approved by the Commission nor gazetted. A Notice of Poll becomes legal and binding only after it is gazetted. The version circulating on social media was never gazetted. It was a mere draft reflecting the photographs and symbols presented to the District Officer.
“When this anomaly came to the notice of the Commission, the second Independent Candidate was advised to change his symbol since he was the last to submit his Nomination Form. He refused to do so causing the Commission to apply Regulation 14(1) (b) and (c) of the Public Elections Regulations, 2020, C.I. 127 which states as follows:
“14 (1) “Where an election is contested, the Commission shall, as soon as practicable after the nomination day;
(b) allocate to a candidate who is not sponsored by a registered political party a symbol, colour or combination of colours chosen by that candidate; or
(c) allocate a symbol, colour or combination of colours that the Commission considers appropriate in any other case”.
“The Commission has assigned him the symbol of a hoe which is reflected in the Notice of Poll posted throughout Kumawu.
“We assure the Public that the Commission will not tolerate acts that are at variance with its regulations and which have the potential of undermining its hard-earned reputation and integrity.
“It is a well-known fact that as a Commission we have always operated and lived by our motto: Integrity, Fairness and Transparency.
“We will continue to do so, GOD being our helper.
Find below the original Notice of Poll for the Kumawu By-Election