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Politics of Friday, 7 October 2016

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Tamale EC resumes voter transfer under massive police protection

The District Office of the Electoral Commission in the Tamale Municipality has been taken over by armed police and military personnel Friday as the EC resumes the voters transfer exercise.

The exercise was halted yesterday following reports of gun shots and the brandishing of machetes by assailants said to be affiliated with some political parties.

Joy News' Tamale correspondent Hashmin Mohammed reported the assailants were there to intimidate prospective voters, mostly students of the University of Development Studies who had come to transfer their votes.

The EC officials were overwhelmed not just by the weapon carrying assailants but by the students who accused the EC officials of failing to transfer them and giving them unnecessary excuses why they couldn't transfer the votes.

According to Hashmin there were few police men at the scene of the chaos yesterday but were outnumbered by the assailants and the angry students.

The EC officials had no option but to shut down the office as a measure to restore calm.

On Friday the students returned to the EC office in queues praying to be registered and accusing the EC of failing to register them.

"We have been here for days and people come here and the only thing they say is that the forms are finished. Sometimes they lock themselves inside without coming to tell us anything. This is what they do and when we talk they say people of Tamale are violent.

"Today is the deadline and we have not been transferred," some of the prospective voters lamented to Joy News.

Hashmin reported the EC officials have now started the voter transfer exercise despite initial threat to boycott the exercise if there is no guarantee of maximum security.

The EC officials are hoping to complete the exercise by close of day. Meanwhile, in the Ashanti Region, there is a mad rush by residents to transfer their votes.

The exercise suffered low turnout in previous day but with today being the final day of transfer a mass of prospective voters who wish to transfer their votes besieged the district EC office in a desperate move to transfer.