Less than a week to the Kumawu by-election, the Electoral Commission rejected the sketch image of a falcon as our symbol. We find this move by the Commission very unfortunate and unfair as the Commission even failed to engage us before making that hasty decision of imposing a symbol on our candidate.
We must state with emphasis that, there is absolutely nothing wrong with our symbol as claimed by the Commission. Even a cursory glance at the two symbols in question shows that the two symbols do not confuse or deceive the public during campaigning, and would not do the same during voting.
As a matter of fact, we have not encountered any such instances during our campaign. We have campaigned with this particular symbol right after we filed, and for that matter, would be highly and unfairly disadvantaged if the symbol is forcefully changed less than a week to the by-election.
It is just fair and right that we also make it known to all that, the notice of poll in circulation which features our choice of symbol, a sketch image of a falcon, was officially released by the Electoral Commission to the public. The District Head of the Electoral Commission in Sekyere Kumawu, Ataa Nyamekye, actually sent a copy to our candidate via WhatsApp, and we have evidence to support this.
But as stated earlier, the two symbols are not similar in any way, although they are both birds. Ours being a sketch image of a falcon is absolutely and strikingly unique and different from the picture of a dove with an olive leaf.
Let us hasten to remind all that, the Electoral Commission, in the past, has conducted elections, General Elections for that matter, in this country where symbols of political parties such as the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and the Great Consolidated People’s Party (GCPP), all had a red-coloured cockerel featuring boldly; even as recent as the last General Elections in 2020. These symbols have never triggered nor provoked any form of confusion within the voting public. Political parties and politicians have always found the best ways to campaign, advertise and promote their parties and candidates without necessarily raising concerns about these symbols.
We are therefore highly dismayed by the Electoral Commission’s attempt to unfairly deny us our choice of a sketch image of a falcon as our symbol.
These attempts by the Commission to frustrate and bully our candidate started with the change in the name arrangement of the third candidate on the ballot from “Duah Kwaku” to “Kwaku Duah”. He has always been styled “Duah Kwaku” on the Commission’s notices until it was recently changed to “Kwaku Duah”.
It is very disappointing that after cooperating fully with the Commission, they will decide to treat our candidate, Kwaku Duah, in this way. Although the Commission wrote to us barely 24 hours to the printing of the ballot papers, we hastily and swiftly responded with all humility appealing to them to maintain our chosen symbol.
The actions of the Commission clearly show that they have no regard whatsoever for our candidate. Because, in addition to the above, the commission wrote to our candidate informing him on the need to change his symbol barely 24 hours to the printing of the ballot papers; and even went ahead to attach an imposed symbol to the letter.
This posture of the Commission undoubtedly indicates that they are not interested in, giving our candidate a fair hearing, or his response to their letter.
It is not surprising that this obstinate posture of the Commission reflects in the conduct of their District Head in Sekyere Kumawu.
We expected that the Electoral Commission, as a referee for this by-election, must be neutral, and treat all candidates fairly. But we are inclined to believe that they are in bed with some powerful hands who are not sympathetic to the cause of our candidate, Kwaku Duah.
We will however expect the Commission to to maintain our chosen symbol of a sketch image of a falcon as our symbol. Our position on this will not change, and we will not hesitate to seek legal redress should the Commission impose a different symbol on our candidate.
Felix Kwabena Boakye,
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