The Electoral Commission (EC) on Monday set-out acts and inactions that may constitute electoral offences in Election 2012 and called on the political parties and other democratic stakeholders to respect the laws or face the consequences. The offences include: to make or publish, by written or spoken word or by song, a false statement about the personal character of another candidate or the conduct of a political party; and to excite enmity against a person, group of persons, or political party on grounds of religious, ethnic, professional, regional, or political affiliation. In an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, the EC Chairman, explained that a careful examination of the offences indicated that an election official, a polling agent, a party official, a candidate, a voter, or any member of the general public could commit an election offence.
“To give or receive money or something of value as a means of inducing a person to vote, or not to vote, in a certain way; to use or threaten to use force or violence against a person or group of persons; and to inflict or threaten to inflict physical or spiritual injury or harm on a person. “A person found guilty of an election offence may be fined or imprisoned or both. For some offences, a person may also be qualified from voting in subsequent elections or from holding public office,” he stated. Sanctions includes a fine not exceeding 500 penalty units; or imprisonment not exceeding two years; or both fine and imprisonment; and five year disqualification.