"EC Blameless For 2020 Election-Related Deaths - Jean Mensa Explains
Electoral Commission chairperson, Jean Mensa, has lamented deaths that occurred during the 2020 General Elections stressing that "one life lost is too many." She however holds that the events leading to the deaths could not in any way be pinned on the work of its officials adding that the deaths took place away from election centers. Addressing a West African Parliament event in Winneba on Wednesday, October 13, 2021; she said: “Sadly, seven lives were lost and though this did not occur at our polling nor arise as misconduct on our part, one life lost is one too many.
"We are confident that our security agencies will share their investigations and recommendations for future learnings,” she added. On the conduct of the entire process, she submitted that the process was robust and also cost-effective, a sentiment that she has previously stated in a different forum. “I humbly refer to Ghana’s 2020 elections as historic for the transparency, the credibility, the cost-effectiveness, the high turn-out, and the peaceful conduct that characterized it.
"So orderly, so methodical, so calm were the polls on 7 December 2020 that BBC could find no other way to describe our elections than boring,” she stated. She also spoke about the big savings that the EC made on its budgeted spending for the elections. The issue of deaths related to the 2020 polls has been a big talking point with Members of Parliament on the side of the opposition National Democratic Congress, NDC, pushing for a Parliamentary probe. The ruling New Patriotic Party MPs are however demanding that any such probe should take retrospective effect to cover all deaths recorded in elections since 1992.
According to official police statistics, five deaths were recorded out of 61 incidents recorded nationwide during and after the elections. A December 9 statement gave a breakdown as follows: Twenty-one of the incidents is true cases of electoral violence, six of which involve gunshots resulting in the death of five.
3. The cases involving gunshots occurred as follows: i. Central region, Awutu Senya East constituency: 2 injured from a shooting incident by civilian(s) in the community during election period on 07-12-20. ii. Greater Accra region, Odododiodio constituency: 2 dead and 6 injured from a shooting incident by civilian(s) in the community during the post-election period on 07-12-20.
iii. Greater Accra region, Ablekuma Central: 4 injured including a policeman from a shooting incident at the collation center during the post-election period on 08-12-20. iv. Bono East region, Techiman South constituency:2 dead and 4 injured from shooting by security personnel at the collation center during the post-election period on 08-12-20. v. Northern region, Savelugu Constituency: a shooting incident by civilian(s) at the Police Station, when people besieged the station during the post-election period on 08-12-20.
vi. Northern region, Savelugu Constituency: 1 dead and 3 injured from a shooting incident by civilian(s) in the community during the post-election period on 08-12-20.4.