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General News of Friday, 7 December 2012

Source: radioxyzonline.com

Election 2012: Voting still ongoing despite 5:pm deadline

Voting is still ongoing across the country as the world’s focus is once again on Ghana as nearly 14 million electorate go to the polls to decide who the next President of the Republic becomes.

Also at stake, is the race for 275 seats in Parliament being contested by 1,300 candidates.

Developments

Voting ends, counting underway

Voting has ended in several polling stations across the country even though voting is still ongoing due to the breakdown of verification machines. One of such places that counting has begun includes the McCarthy Hill area in the Weija Constituency. Counting has also started in several polling stations nationwide.

Counting has also begun in some polling stations in the Kintampo North constituency while voting is also ongoing in some polling stations.

Voting ongoing despite deadline

Officially voting has ended in the 2012 general elections but voting is still ongoing in many polling stations across the country due to the breakdown of verification machines. Voting in several polling stations took off as late as 1 pm.

According to the EC, any voter who is still in the queue as at 5: pm is eligible to vote and must be allowed to cast his ballot. It is however expected that voting is likely to go deep into the night and in some areas likely to end tomorrow morning.

In some polling stations as many as 700 to 1,000 people could still be seen in the queues.

Owusu Parry plan to allow rejected electorates vote

The acting director of the Public Affairs Unit of the Electoral Commission, Christian Owusu Parry says the EC would come out with a statement soon to spell out a plan to allow eligible voters who failed to vote because of verification machine breakdown.

He noted that the EC has taken note of the various reports of the machine breakdown and would soon find a way to allow everybody to vote.

Power outage at Anyaa Sowutoum

Contrary to assurances by the VRA, ECG and GRIDCO that the lights would not go off during the electioneering period, the lights are out at the Anyaa Sowutoum constituency as the voting draws to a close. Reports indicate that there are still long queues at various polling stations in the constituency and some voters are uncertain whether they continue to vote in the dark.

Some voters are reportedly leaving the polling because they have waited in the queues for long hours and cannot wait any longer.

NPP supporters besiege NADMO Head office

Supporters of the New Patriotic Party have besieged the NADMO head office in Accra alleging that officials of NADMO have stocked printed ballot boxes in their offices in a bid to rig the elections for the NDC. A security team led by DCOP John Kudalor are trying to convince the supporters to leave the premises but they have vowed never to leave until they are allowed to search the offices themselves.

The NPP supporters are threatening to force their way into the NADMO office to ensure that printed ballot boxes have not been stocked in the offices.

A member of the NPP communication Team Yaw Buabeng Asamoah in an interview with XYZ News stated that they picked up intelligence over a week ago that NADMO was moving ballot boxes in and out of their offices.

He said NADMO officials must prove to Ghanaians and the NPP supporters that they are not trying to rig the elections by hiding ballot boxes in their offices.

Foreign Affairs Minister finally votes after trying 10 times

The Foreign Affairs Minister Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni has finally cast his vote after trying ten times without the verification machine identifying him. Speaking after casting his vote, Alhaji Mumuni stated that process is very frustrating and sympathises with those who could not vote because they were not recognized by the verification machine.

President Mahama votes in Bole

President John Mahama has cast his vote at the Bole Bamboi constituency and went straight to the Palace of the Chief of Bole-Bamboi to pay homage. He also visited his father's residence in Bole after arriving in his home constituency to vote.

Speaking to the media after casting his vote, President Mahama stated that the NDC is going to maximize its votes in the Northern region. He urged that all must go out and vote to determine the next President of the country and not allow anybody to decide for them. He added that the “the price that wise people pay for not exercising their franchise is to be governed by fools.”

He called on the EC and asked them to rectify the glitches that have characterised the process and pleaded with the EC to allow everybody cast his vote. President Mahama stated that this election would consolidate Ghana's democracy once and for all.

He reiterated that he is confident that he would win the elections one-touch.

Two EC officials reportedly beaten up

A deputy electoral officer and a female technician reportedly received severe beatings from voters at the Ayigya-Ahenbronoum polling centre in the Oforikrom Constituency over suspicion that they were trying to influence the election results in favour of a particular political party. The swift intervention of the police patrol team saved them from being lynched.

The victims, Mr Arthur, and Nana Yaa, were accused of deliberately refusing to put the Electoral Commission (EC) stamp on ballot papers given out to voters with the view to invaliding those ballots.

Voting without verification

Voters in the Upper East region are voting without a verification machine. This is as a result of the breakdown of the verification during the voting process.

Voting stalled at Awutu Senya

Voting has stalled at the Awutu Senya East constituency in the Central region after the verification machine broke down. The Presiding officer told XYZ News reporter that an expert has been dispatched from the EC office to go and repair the machine for the voting to continue.

Police prevents near clash between supporters of Ato Quarshie and J.S Annan

A near fight broke out between supporters of the incumbent MP for the KEEA constituency, Dr. J.S Annan and Independent MP aspirant Ato Quarshie. Dr. J.S Annan is reported to have ordered the incumbent MP to leave the polling station which his supporters did not take kindly and almost engaged supporters of the incumbent MP.

But the security were present to immediately put the situation under control to prevent the two factions from engaging each other in a fight.

Voting in Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis is peaceful

Voting in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis has been relatively peaceful as there is orderliness at all the polling stations. Presiding Officers at the polling stations said that they received all their voting materials on time for the exercise to start at exactly 07.00 hours and have not encountered any problems.

Agents of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the Progressive Peoples Party (PPP) were present at the stations, while those of the other parties were conspicuously absent.

Mamprusi DCE has not been arrested for snatching ballot boxes - EC

The Electoral Commission Director for West Mamprusi Chief S.A Adams has denied reports that the DCE for the area has been arrested for snatching rwo ballot boxes. Earlier reports indicated that the DCE had been detained at the Walewale Police Station for taking the ballot boxes. But Chief S.A Adams in an interview with XYZ News denied the reports stating that there has been some confusion in some parts of the constituency but nobody has been arrested for snatching a ballot box.

NDP officials preventing Ghanaians residing in Togo from voting

Information gathered by Radio XYZ indicates that agents of the National Democratic Party are preventing some Ghanaians residing in Togo who are crossing the border to come and cast their vote from doing so. A reporter Emmanuel Tokame told Radio XYZ that according to the NDP officials, the people do not reside in Ghana and have no right to come into the country to vote.

Voting Boycotted over distance in Volta

At Nkuruta in the Volta North constituency, voters have refused to vote stating that they have been transferred to Volta South to vote. They claim that the distance between North and South is quite a distance and for that they have decided not to vote.

Asantehene votes

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has just cast his ballot at a polling station at the Manhyia constituency in the Ashanti region. The Asante King arrived at the Manhyia Palace 1 polling station with his wife, Lady Julia. He was taken through the process before he finally cast his vote.

Second Lady votes

Second Lady, Mrs Amissah Arthur has just voted at the Christ The King polling centre in Accra. She says she and her husband will be having fun whilst waiting for the results.

Voting in Mbrom polling centre to be deferred

Voting at the Mbrom polling centre in the Manhyia South Constituency is likely to be deferred since the voters’ register for the area is missing. Three hours after balloting started, the electoral roll for the centre, cannot be traced.

Mr Isaac Owusu, Deputy Ashanti Regional Director of the Electoral Commission (EC), confirmed this. He said they received information from the Electoral Officer about the mix-up of some registers in the constituency last night and quickly sent a vehicle to Accra to get new ones printed.

Former President Kufuor votes

Former President Kufuor has also cast his vote at the Ayawaso West Wuogon. Speaking to the media, he said reports coming from various parts of the country clearly shows "that it does not seem the electoral commission prepared adequately". He however added that he is glad that the process has generally been peaceful.

He said the process should have been smoother than it has been so far adding that he is however impressed with the voter turn out. Ex President Kufuor added that his perfect birthday present was to see Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo winning the elections and declared President in a peaceful atmosphere.

Wa Central is mine - Pelpuo

The incumbent Member of Parliament for the Wa Central Constituency Hon. Rashid Pelpuo who has just cast his vote has declared that the Wa Central constituency will fall to him once again. The deputy Majority leader said he is impressed by the attitude that Ghanaians have shown to the election and hopes that the elections end in the Peaceful manner that it began.

Pregnant woman votes in Labour

Reports from the Ashanti region indicate that a pregnant woman went into labour as she was about to cast her vote. She was however allowed to vote in labour after which she was rushed to the Hospital.

Veep votes

The Vice President Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur has just cast his vote at the Korle Klottey constituency in Accra. The Vice President after voting thanked Ghanaians for turning out in their numbers to vote and urged to EC to move quickly and solve issues of machine breakdown in various constituencies.

He however added that he is confident that the NDC would be declared winners by Saturday afternoon.

Electorates Boycott voting

Electorates at the Palace Town polling station at the Anyaa constituency are threatening to boycott the electoral process because according to them the ballot boxes have been tempered with.

The voters told Radio XYZ that the ballot boxes had been opened before they were brought to the polling station. They also indicate that the verification machines are not working and until a new verification machine and new ballot boxes are brought they would not cast their vote.

NPP MP for the constituency, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has however urged NPP members not to vote until the verification machines are brought.

Bawumia Votes

The Vice Presidential candidate, Dr, Mahamudu Bawumia has also voted in the Walewale constituency in the Northern region.

Addressing journalists, the former Bank of Ghana governor called on the EC to address the issues of reported breakdown of verification machines to make the process a smooth one.

Former First Lady votes

Former First Lady Ernestina Naadu Mills has just voted at the Regimanuel estate on the Spintex road.

No Ballot boxes at Krowor

Reports reaching Radio XYZ indicates that there are no ballot boxes in the Krowor constituency and voting is yet to begin in that constituency.

Nana Addo votes in the Eastern region.

The Flagbearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo has just cast his vote in the Akyem Abuakwa constituency in the Eastern region. His presence caused a stir at the polling station as electorates gathered there wanted to catch a glimpse of him. In his address to Ghanaians he stated his victory is in the hands of Ghanaians.

Ex President Rawlings votes

Ex President Rawlings has cast his vote at the PWD 2 polling station at the Korle Klottey constituency in the Greater Accra region. President Rawlings waved at some of the electorates before going to cast his vote. the founder of the ruling NDC praised the Ghanaians for their composure and attitude shown towards the process. He admonished Ghanaians to remain peaceful and ensure that the best person wins the election.

Machine breaks down

The verification machine at the Joshua polling station at the La Dade Kotokpon has broken down bringing the voting exercise to a halt. Meanwhile, the verification machine in some parts of the Adenta constituency are yet to arrive for the process to commence.

First Lady votes

The First Lady Lordina Mahama has cast her vote at Cantonments in the Greater Accra region. No need to ask who she voted for. Speaking to the media after casting her vote she added that by God's grace her husband President Mahama would win the elections one touch.

Kumasi issues

At the Ayigya constituency in Kumasi in the Ashanti region an Electoral Officer has been arrested for failing to stamp 200 ballot papers. He has been taken to the Central Police Station under the instructions of the Central Police commander.

Also a young man has has been arrested for attempting to snatch a ballot box at Ala Bar in the Ashanti region. He has hoever been sent to the Manhyia Police station.

Boy arrested at Odododiodoo for voting twice

An electorate who tried to elude the laws governing our rules by trying to vote twice has been arrested at the Ledzorkuku constituency in Accra. Though the name of the lad has not been made public information indicates that the police have arrested the person who tried to act ‘sensibly’ at the polling center.

Presidential candidates vote

So far four Presidential candidates have cast their vote in their various constituencies.

Odike sure of victory

UFP Flagbearer Akwasi Odae Odike who cast his vote at the Kwadaso constituency stated that he is confident of winning the elections.

Hassan Ayariga says he would win one touch

Hassan Ayariga of the PNC who voted in Bawku in the Upper East region stated that says all indications shows that he is winning the election one touch. He However stated that he voted for himself contrary to claims that h was not going to vote for himself.

Nduom Jabs Mahama

PPP Flagbearer Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom who cast his vote in Elmina together with his wife condemned President Mahama for abusing incumbency and going on air on Thursday to address the nation. According to him, Ghana is not at war and there was no need for his nationwide address.

Henry Lartey calls for Peace

GCPP Flagbearer Dr. Henry Lartey however admonished Ghanaians to exercise restraint with the process and go bout the elections in a peaceful manner after he cast his vote at the Korle Klottey constituency.

Tempers are also flaring in other constituencies as some of the verification machines seem to be delaying the process in many polling stations across the country.

At the Odododiodoo constituency voting has started in many of the polling stations monitored by our reporter Elvis Adjetey.

At the La Dade kpotokpon Constituency voting has begun in some polling stations but voting is yet to take off in other polling stations.

At the St. Martins De Porres polling station at the Ablekuma West Constituency, reports indicate that several people had already cast their votes but the verification machine is delaying the process.

St Benedict polling station at Ofankor, the NDC party was sacked by EC officials because he did not have a valid Identification.

The EC official in an interview with XYZ News stated that voting will go ahead without the NDC party agent.

At the Korle Klottey constituency in the voting has also started at some polling stations but voting is also yet to commence in other polling stations in the constituency.

Streets in Tamale are deserted as voters troop to polling centres to cast their votes.

At Dabokpa JHS "A" in the Tamale South Constituency, where there are 816 names in the voters' register, polling started at 0705 hours.

The Presiding officer, Mr Alhassan Dokurugu, said everything was going well. He said ballot papers and electoral materials had been delivered and the verification equipment was functioning well.

At Dabokpa JHS "B", which also has 816 voters in the register, voting started at 0710.

There were about 100 voters queued at each polling station when polling started.

At both centres there are two separate queues for men and women because of religious reasons, as the area is predominantly Muslim.

Although all the presidential candidates have campaigned vigorously, the contest does not appear to be different from what it had been in the past as it will be a two-horse race between President John Dramani Mahama of the NDC and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the NPP.

The other presidential contestants are Dr Henry Lartey of the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Mr Akwasi Addae of the United Front Party (UFP), Mr Hassan Ayariga of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Dr Michael Abu Sakara Foster of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and Mr Jacob Osei Yeboah, an independent candidate.

Some researchers, opinion polls, media, political analysts and statisticians have all come up with divergent opinion polls favouring one candidate or the other. But what seems to be the trend is that the polls favour either the NDC candidate, President Mahama, or Nana Akufo-Addo of the NPP. Dr Nduom appears a distant third while Dr Sakara, Mr Ayariga, Mr Osei Yeboah and Mr Addae are all confident of making some impact and for that matter causing an upset.

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