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We’ll work to avoid Keta North controversy in future primaries – Mustapha Gbande

A Deputy General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mustapha Gbande, say the party will work to prevent the controversy that surrounded the outcome of the Ketu North parliamentary primaries in future elections.

Speaking on Newsnight on JoyFM, he commended John Kwabla Adanu, who lost the primary to Edem Agbana for accepting the party’s decision despite his grievances.

“I must say that the gentleman [John Kwabka Adanu] demonstrated maturity and candor when he appeared before the National Executive Committee (NEC). What is more relieving is that after his expression of his dissatisfaction he went ahead to say that for the interest of the party he is willing to support the course for 2024.”

“Going forward, we are all learning and the party will continue to improve. All of these issues will be looked at in subsequent elections to ensure that this is avoided,” Mr Gbande assured.

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This comes after the parliamentary aspirant, John Adanu questioned the decision of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the NDC to declare Edem Agbana winner of the Ketu North parliamentary primary.

He wondered why the Council, after identifying three unstamped ballots, declared them as valid, on the premise that they had corresponding serial numbers with that of the booklet provided. 

Addressing the press, Mr. Adanu entreated the party’s hierarchy to take a critical look at the NDC’s constitution and guidelines for internal elections.

Mr. Adanu found this decision unfortunate and unfair to his candidacy and supporters.

“The key point in this determination is that the serial numbers on the ballots in question are from the booklet used in the constituency election and since there is no over-voting these ballots cannot be said to be foreign materials.

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“This means, as far as our internal elections are concerned, the stamping of ballot papers is irrelevant, given no over-voting and the correspondence of serial numbers to the booklets.”

Meanwhile, Mr Gbande urged the Electoral Commission to be cautious of mistakes such as these as they are in charge of ensuring that every ballot is stamped.

He noted that “some errors have effects and as far as the officers are performing some obligations for the party, those exercises must be done with caution and diligence.”

Background

There was misunderstanding on Saturday May 13, between Edem Agbana and his contender, John Adanu Zewu after a tie.

The vociferous former National Youth Organiser was declared the winner by just a vote, but after two recounts upon the request of his opponent, the Electoral Commission established that three ballot papers had not been stamped.

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It emerged later that two out of the three unstamped ballots were cast in favour of Edem Agbana, and one in favour of John Adanu.

Despite this, Mr. Agbana insisted that he had won with 360 votes against his opponent’s 359 votes although the EC did not declare him winner.

There had been reports suggesting a possible rerun of the polls in that constituency, but the NDC at a news conference in Accra on Tuesday, delivered a verdict on who the legitimate winner was.

The General Secretary, Fifi Kwetey explained that the said unstamped ballot papers were part of the original ballot booklet provided by the party and so there was no over-voting.

Edem Agbana was thus declared as the legitimate winner.

Sourcee: Myjoyonline

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