The Election Commission has just approved only 18 observers from MAFREL for the May 31st Penanti by-election, even though MAFREL has sent in more applications. The reason for more observers is that: while there are 9 polling centres there are 32 polling streams/stations/class rooms to watch. It would be humanly impossible to make 2 observers cover all the polling stations in a polling centres-especially if the EC enforce the rule that there could only be 1 observer in a polling centre at any 1 time and that the accredited observers are still disallowed to enter the polling stations to observe the polling and counting processes. The allowance of such a small number of observers for Penanti reflect a less the welcoming attitude of the Election Commission to any external audit for its processes.
Meanwhile EC has not allowed observers from other observers groups eg NIEI, KOMAS etc from entering the polling centres to conduct observation.