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Politics of Friday, 25 April 2003

Source: gna

Turn-out was not impressive - EC

Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, Chairman of the Electoral Commission has said though the Amenfi West Bye-election was smooth turn-out was not impressive.

Dr. Afari-Gyan said this on Thursday at Asankrangwa at a press conference and attributed the low turn-out to a lot of voters going to their farms.

He said so far no major incident has been recorded in any of the 75 polling stations in the constituency, adding "a few problems such as transfer votes, misplaced voter identity cards and the presence of macho men".

Dr Afari-Gyan said many registered voters did not transfer their votes permanently thus being unable to vote at their new places of residence.

He urged Ghanaians to apply to the EC for permanent transfer of vote, to enable them participate in future elections.

Dr Afari-Gyan said at one of the polling station, he met some machomen who alleged that "we are monitoring our polling assistants" but the machomen did not indicate the particular party they belonged to.

He advised the machomen to cease their activities since such acts, creates tension and intimidates voters, adding, "this macho thing is not necessary".

Dr Afari-Gyan called on the media to intensify its education on the manual of the EC, and to change perceptions about the EC and improve public confidence in the Commission.

In the Asankrangwa township, voting is still going on and the Grade II Court, 259 votes had been cast as at 2:30pm out of 688 expected voters, 254 votes had been cast out of 659 at the Roman Catholic Primary polling centre within the same period.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Gyeabour Ofosu-Mensah, Western Regional Commander of Police told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that 140 peace officers were recruited from the Western Central, Ashanti and Greater Accra to monitor the elections to ensure peace in the township.

He said no incidents have so far been recorded in any of the polling centres they visited and added that two policemen have been stationed at each of the polling centres.