General News of Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Source: myjoyonline

Tension rises in Ashanti

as NPP, NDC officials threaten to flout police directive

The Ashanti Region which only days ago played host to the political party leaders in what became known as the Kumasi peace declaration may well turn out to be the abode for chaos in the December 7 General elections if steps are not taken the lessen the tension.

With barely four days to go into the 2012 elections, officials of the two leading political parties- National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party are embroiled in serious war of words.

It follows a directive from the police that all voters must vacate the polling area soon after casting their votes on December 7.

The Ashanti Regional Police Commander DCOP Augustine Gyaning said it is illegal for the voters to loiter 500 meters from the polling station.

The directive was part of many strategies the police announced to ensure peace and tranquility in the elections. He said the use of motor bikes are likely to be banned on voting day, adding, the police will deal ruthlessly with people who foment trouble and flout their directives.

But the opposition New Patriotic Party has little confidence in the police to protect the ballot.

The Ashanti Regional Chairman of the party Frederick Antoa told Joy News they are not impressed with the police assurances.

“Once bitten, twice shy” he stated, citing examples of cases in which ballot boxes were snatched in the 2000 elections when the NDC was in power.

The NPP chair said there is no law which says voters cannot stay around after voting, insisting their voters are prepared to hang around and protect the ballot.

Antoa said not even the regional police chief or the president will intimidate them from voting and protecting the ballot.

His statements appeared to have angered the NDC in the region.

Regional Secretary of the party Joseph Yameen said the belligerent position taken by the NPP is part of a plot to cause chaos in the upcoming elections.

He said they are ready to respect the directives of the police if only the NPP abides by it.

He threatened the NDC will equally mass up at the polling stations to protect their ballot if the NPP would want to take over the job of the police.

“We are two times better prepared for war than the NPP,” he threatened, adding, the all-die-be-die slogan cannot only go for the NPP and their supporters.

The police are meanwhile calling on stakeholders to respect the directives.