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Syntax and Semantic of the EC’s December 14th Release on Declared Parliamentary Seats – Kombian Somtuaka

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Syntax and Semantic of the EC’s December 14th Release on Declared Parliamentary Seats – Kombian Somtuaka

I notice varying reactions to the letter attached here and granted this is the actual Release from EC, then we need to do an analysis of the Syntax and Semantic of the Release to ascertain what the Commission meant to say. In short, did EC get the number of declared seats right or wrong?

Slow down let’s do it step by step.
The opening paragraph holds the main key; the other parts only give cues for statistical inference.
The syntax of the first paragraph shows this plain meaning: how many seats in total did the EC say have been declared? Two hundred and seventy-three (273). What’s the breakdown of the seats? 137 for NPP, 136 for NDC, 1 for Independent Candidate. But this totals 274, not 273 as stated by the EC.

Slow down
Watch that immediately after the stated total seats declared comes the breakdown, and it’s instructive to note that there’s no comma (,) separating the part of the first paragraph which reads…. (NDC) and …” and one (1) independent candidate as follows.” The absence of a comma simply means there’s no break and that the said 273 seats go to NPP, NDC, and Independent. This reading of the paragraph shows the EC should have stated that the seats declared are 274. But it didn’t.

If there was a comma to separate this part of the paragraph I refer to, it’d have meant that the one Independent seat wasn’t part of the 273 and semantically adds up to 274. We all know how conjunction works with punctuations to enable breaks in the structure of sentences, and as such to reveal meaning.

Again, EC did not explicitly mention later in the Release that the total seats declared are 274. If it did, we could imply that the 273 only goes to NDC and NPP so that the one for Independent adds up to 274.
But
From the portion of the Release which notes that only Sene West is left to be declared and when done will bring finality to the process, we may want to infer that since only one seat is left then 274 seats are declared. We can do that, but that will mean we are introducing something else into the Release which was not there.
In any case, would you rather opt for the plain literal meaning or infer? In statistical projections of the sort EC is engaging in now, and especially given that not all of the general public is statistically inclined, it pays to be simple and plain.

The lack of appropriate punctuations, the plain statement of 273 as the total seats declared, show EC did not get it right.
If you say NPP’s 137 ➕ NDC’s 136 ➕ Independent 1 = 274, you will be correct. But That’s not what the letter says 😂
I hope this helps.
Or I for galaway

 

Credit: Kombian Somtuaka

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SB Bitian is a Freelance Writer. Favorite quote: "I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all" - Ecclesiastes 9:11

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