One of the four presidential teams in the 2021 Graduate Students’ Association of Ghana (GRASAG) elections on the University of Ghana Legon campus has accused the Electoral Commission of wanting to rig the poll for the outgoing interim Secretary, Christiana Adu.
Presidential candidate, Sancho Ackoussah alleged that a group of highly placed members of the association are resolute of their ‘longstanding’ decision to subvert the will of electorates.
In an exclusive interview, he explained that an ‘established system’ opposes and frustrates any candidate who desires to serve the graduate students’ populace.
“They are cooking the system for the acting secretary who is contesting to become president. They claimed they are kingmakers, so they always decide GRASAG elections. The system is being cooked specifically for her so that she can make her way through. It is difficult if you are an individual and you have the will to serve GRASAG but the system is against you. They are doing everything possible to frustrate you,” Presidential candidate, Sancho Ackoussah said.
The disgruntled presidential candidate called on the Electoral Commission to resume an independent posture in the perspective to conduct a free, fair, and transparent election.
Sancho Ackoussah further urged the Chairperson of the EC, Harrison Opoku to liaise with all candidates in the decision-making process and implementation of activities.
“I don’t know what exactly is happening. It is as if they [EC] just stand up and take decisions anyhow without even consulting the constants. At least if anything, sit down with the contestants, have a discussion with them, and let’s know the way forward. The EC should just allow us to compete on fairgrounds,” he added.
At the time of publication of this article [Saturday, September 11, 2021], all efforts to get a response from the Chairman of the EC, Harrison Opoku following these allegations proved futile.
However, in an exclusive interview on Sunday, September 12, 2021, after the publication, he described the earlier accusations made against the electoral process as unfortunate and unfounded.
“It is quite unfortunate to have some of these unfounded allegations. You can bear with me these are allegations that are not substantiated. But it is quite unfortunate. They are plans of Sancho Ackoussah. As I said earlier, I am putting in much effort with the help of my committee to ensure that GRASAG-LEGON will have a free and fair election as they have been doing,” Harrison Opoku said.
Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country coupled with the closure of schools at all levels, the Graduate Students’ Association of Ghana (GRASAG) Legon appointed interim executives to spearhead the affairs of the association until substantive leaders are elected.
A year on, the interim executive body made up of an Interim Management Committee, Interim Senate leadership, and Interim Judicial Committee, have agreed to return the governance of the association to normal through elections.
An Electoral Commission was subsequently set up to regulate the conduct of this year’s election. Nominations for executive portfolios were opened for prospective graduate students of the University of Ghana to pick and file same by September 3, 2021.
Nominees were vetted on September 6 and the vetting results were published on September 7, 2021.