Allegations of malpractices, shooting mar Ghana’s polls

Posted by News Express | 7 December 2020 | 515 times

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Ghana’s voters on Monday went to the poll in tight presidential and parliamentary elections.

The exercise was characterised by allegations of malpractices from the camps of the country’s two dominant parties and shooting of two persons.

Counting of ballots and tallying of votes, however, continued into the evening after early closure of voting in most of the polling booths.

It was the country’s eighth election in the Fourth Republic. The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the major opposition party, National Democratic Congress (NDC), are head-to-head in the polls.

The allegation of  malpractices originated from the NDC as the party accused the ruling NPP of allegedly stuffing ballot boxes with thump-printed ballots purportedly in favour of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

NDC Director of Elections Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, at a news conference yesterday afternoon, alleged that the ballot-stuffing happened in Ejisu in the Ashanti Region, Circle in Accra and Bimbilla in the Northern.

He alleged that an NPP constituency chairman supervised the alleged ballot stuffing.

The NDC Director also alleged that the security agencies intentionally did not deploy many security officers to regions such as the Ashanti Region to undermine the process.

According to Ankrah, the police were ordered not to escort ballot boxes to collation centres.

He called on NDC supporters and Ghanaians to be vigilant and follow the ballot boxes to ensure that they were not tampered with before they arrived at the collation centres.

Also after casting his vote on Monday, NDC presidential candidate and former President John Dramani Mahama lamented the removal of some voters’ names from the voter register.

Mahama, who is contesting against his successor and incumbent President, said: “These (names missing from the roll and the breakdown of some machines) are some of the little things we kept complaining about. I mean the electoral commission said it had eliminated 30,000 names, without saying whose names they were.

“So now, we stand vindicated because these are issues we were warning the commission about, that on the day, the verification machines might not work because they failed to deploy and test them during the exhibition.”

The opposition candidate also maintained that he would keep his calm and promised not to generalise issues since the electoral process was smoothly operated.

But, the ruling NPP accused the opposition NDC of whipping up tribal sentiments for electoral gains in the elections.

Addressing a news conference in Accra, the party’s deputy campaign manager, Mustapha Hamid, said the NDC was anticipating defeat.

Hamid:  “Why are you calling on Volta region to rescue you; nobody is going to rescue you, your campaign has flopped. Are you a Volta party, I thought you are a national party. If indeed they have discovered illegal activities, they should go to the police and report those incidents,” he said.

The country’s Electoral Commission (EC) yesterday sacked a presiding officer at a polling station in the Korle-Klottey constituency for allowing a special voter to vote again.

Also, two EC officers who tampered with the presidential ballot papers in Awutu Senya West and Bawku Central were arrested and put in Police custody.

The two officials are Mary Adatsi and Ahmed Shafawu Alhaji Salam.

One of the EC officials was being interrogated in Awutu Senya Area for tearing the president out of the ballot paper before handing it over to voters.

A photo that went viral showed the ballot papers booklet with the president section on the ballot still on as the Akufo-Addo is cropped out.

Two persons sustained gunshot wounds after a shooting incident near the Steps to Christ polling station at Kasoa in the Awutu Senya East Constituency of the Central Region.

The two injured persons are receiving treatment at the hospital.

The incident happened at about 300 metres away from the Steps to Christ polling station, according to the police.

The Central Regional Public Relations Officer, DSP Irene Oppong, confirmed the incident, saying it happened at about 11:40am.

But, President Akufo-Addo cast his ballot yesterday in his hometown, Kyebi, in the Eastern Region.

He voted at the Rock of Ages Polling Station One in the Abuakwa South Constituency.

He was accompanied by the Member of Parliament for Abuakwa South area, Mr. Samuel Atta Akyea, Mahama also cast his ballot at the Bole District Assembly Office.

It took Mahama under five minutes from washing his hands to casting his ballots.

The presidential candidate of the National Democratic Party (NDP), Mrs. Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings, cast her ballot at the Ridge Church School in the Korle-Klottey Constituency at 11:35am.

The wife of former President Jerry John Rawlings was accompanied by some party officials.  (The Nation)



Source: News Express

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