General News of Saturday, 8 December 2012

Source: Compiled by Ghanaweb

Close of Polls: How it was captured by the international media

Aljazeera took special interest and came through with this report: “Ghana extends voting after technical glitch”. Ghana has extended voting in its presidential election into a second day, officials said, after technical problems prevented thousands of people in the West African nation from casting their ballots on time.

"People who lined up to vote today but were unable to do so will be able to cast their ballot tomorrow," Election Commissioner Kwadwo Afari-Gyan said on Friday. Polling stations would reopen at 7:00 am (07:00 GMT), he said.

Many newly introduced electronic fingerprint readers, used to verify people's identities, malfunctioned on Friday, slowing voting and creating long lines at polling stations nationwide that could not be cleared.

The BBC’s viewport: “Voting in Ghana's presidential and parliamentary elections has been extended in many areas where technical glitches led to long delays.

Electoral officials say polling in the affected areas will resume on Saturday. Many voters endured long queues before the polls closed at 17:00 GMT. Counting has begun where voting was completed.

A tight race is expected between President John Mahama and Nana Akufo-Addo in the new oil producer - one of the world's fastest-growing economies.

The CNN comes with a more unique caption: “Incumbent leader, former president's son face off in Ghana election”. Ghanaians voted Friday in a general election that pits the incumbent against the son of a former president in one of Africa's most stable democracies.

The West African nation is hailed as a beacon of peace and democracy in a region beleaguered with coups, conflicts and civil wars.

Problems were reported at some polling stations where either election materials arrived late or glitches with a new biometric voter identification system caused delays.

The electoral commission extended voting at those stations through Saturday. It was not immediately clear how many people were affected by the delays.

Reuters writes: “Ghana votes in close-call test of stable democracy. Ghanaians waited in long lines to vote on Friday in presidential elections they hope will entrench the country’s reputation for stable democracy in a part of the world better known for civil wars, coups and corruption.

The start of voting was delayed in some polling stations in Accra due to a lack of ballots and ballot boxes, but election observers said many of the problems had been resolved by midday and that voting was mostly smooth nationwide.