AS voting ended successfully and counting continues, the question on the lips of many Ghanaians is whether the final results will give one particular candidate a first round victory to curtail the anxiety in the country.
The winner needs to secure 50% plus one of all valid votes.
Supporters of the two leading political parties are expectant of victory but do not favour a run-off since that will heighten tension is the system.
Polls opened in all polling centers across all 275 constituencies the country in presidential and parliamentary elections in an obvious face-off contest between the National Democratic Congress candidate, John Dramani Mahama and leader of the main opposition New Patriotic Party’s Nana Akufo-Addo.
Long winding queues had begun forming at some polling stations across the country as earlier as 3 am as people thronged the polling centers to cast an early ballot.
At the Methodist Primary ‘A’ polling station in the Kpone Katamanso Constituency, a little over a hundred out of the 780 registered voters at that polling station had joined the queue to vote at the open of the polls at 7am.
Although the electoral commission official responsible for giving out parliamentary ballot papers had not yet reported to duty at the start of voting, the Presiding Officer, Felix Ocran, opted to fill that vacuum until the officer arrives.
Emmanuel Mensah, the first voter at that polling station completed verification and casting of both presidential and parliamentary ballot in a time of 4 minutes 20 seconds.
At Methodist ‘B’ polling station in that same constituency, voting had commenced in a congenial environment where some 657 registered voters in that polling station were expected to cast their ballot.
At the Christ Foundation Family Church polling ‘A’ station in the Tema West Constituency, some 209 registered voters has cast their ballot out of the 668 registered voters as at 11am when The Finder visited that the center.
Presiding Officer at the center, Justice Patamia, told The Finder that voting has been generally smooth as all who came to vote went through the process smoothly.
At polling Station the Christ Foundation Family Church polling ‘B’, 224 registered voters out of 672 registered voters at that polling station had exercised their voting rights by 11:15am with just a few in a shot queue waiting to cast their ballot.
Presiding Officer Maj. Rtd Yorke Afriyie at that station said ballot began on time as specified by the Electoral Commission.
The NTHC Estate polling station ‘A’ also in the Tema West Constituency, the center was unusually packed when The Finder visited, with some people complaining of slight shifts in the voting arrangements in that center. A disgruntled voter, who only gave his name as Eric, said although he is a registered voter at that center, his name could not be found in the register.
The police were, however, on duty calming nerves and ensuring that the process went on smoothly.
As at 11:30 am, a total of 353voters had cast their ballot out of expected 884 registered voters at that polling station with only one person going through a manual verification process.
At polling station ‘B’, 270 voters had cast their votes out of the expected 669 prospective voters on the register.
At the St James polling center, all three polling stations, A, B, C hadrecorded 211,222 and 109 votes respectively.
At noon when the team visited that Ashaiman Constituency, the numbers at the various centers had significantly reduced, as just a few people were at the various centers casting their votes.
At the Mart Academy polling station 1A, 618 out of 366 prospective voters expected to cast their ballot at that station
At station 1B, a total of 298 people had cast their vote out of 541 registered voters on the list.
Polling station 2A had recorded 203 out of the expected 538 voters at this polling station.
The Presby Primary school polling center was virtually empty when The Finder visited. At about 1pm, 261,277 and 329 people had voted at the Presby 1A, 1B and 2 polling stations respectively.
Klottey Korle Constituency
Daniel ODURO reports from the Korle Klottey constituency, which is one of the interesting and intriguing constituencies in the 2016 general elections, witnessed a high level of peace and tranquility during yesterday’s Presidential and Parliamentary contest.
The Korle Klottey Constituency has become one that is followed with keen interest by political watchers due to several sub-plots – first, the candidature of Ms Zenator Rawlings, daughter of former president Jerry John Rawlings and her rapid rise to political prominence makes interesting reading.
Also Zenator’s candidature to lead the ruling National Democratic Congress came with a lot of acrimony, after incumbent MP Nii Armah Ashietey, challenged the candidacy of Zanetor Rawlings based on the Constitution of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The matter had to be settled at the Supreme Court of Ghana. The New Patriotic Party (NPP) also had their fair share of controversies during their primaries to elect a parliamentary candidate.
Lawyer Philip Addison polled 396 out of the 765 votes cast to beat Nii Noi Nortey, who polled 367 votes in a controversial re-run primary in the constituency. Nii Noi-Nortey, feeling peeved went independent. All these add to the sub-plots of the Korle Klottey constituency.
Double registration and exclusion list brouhaha
At the Nana Nketia/Mercy preparatory School polling station in Asylum Down, voting started on time and as at 3pm when The Finder visited the station, 300 out of the 517 total registered voters had cast their ballot.
The polling officer, however, said a few hitches that had been recorded had to do with people who couldn’t vote for one reason or the other.
Eric Jaha, the polling officer said the reasons why some people couldn’t vote were because they had engaged in double registration and/or because they had registered with the National Health Insurance card (NHIS), which is now deemed invalid as a means of registration.
At the G-Maa F 252/1 polling station situated in Osu, polling officials were literally on holiday when The Finder got there around 2:45 pm yesterday. The total registered voters for this polling station is 778 and as at the time of leaving there, 480 people had already cast their vote.
The polling officer was confident that the remainder of the voters will turn out and exercise their franchise.
There were no recorded incidents of violence or disorderliness at the centre.
At the Nii We Agblanshi polling station also in Osu, there was an unusually long queue at the centre when The Finder visited at around 3:45 pm.
Polling officer Obri Yeboah told The Finder that this year’s election is the most peaceful he had witnessed in his 12 years experience at the polling centre. Asked whether he was not worried about the long queue with only a little over an hour to end the exercise, Mr Yeboah assured that everyone will be allowed to vote, provided they were still in the queue before the 5 pm deadline.
Confusion atpolling stations
John Elliot Hagan reports from the Ablekuma South Constituency, that there were some few skirmishes at some polling stations visited.
The voters as at 8: 00 am were stranded outside as the gate to the Korle Gonno Methodist Church polling station where they were to vote was locked by the EC officials due to the lack of a single police personnel at the centre.
They were locked to prevent them from forcefully entering the centre and this, according to the officials was because, there was no single police personnel to control the hundreds of voters who were eager to cast their votes.
Speaking to ASP Essilfie on the matter, he explained police personnel were not around because they were casting their votes following their inability to vote during the special voting.
It took the intervention of the Police personnel on duty at the Chorkor Presbyterian Polling station in the Ablekuma West Constituency to bring to a halt a heated between the Presiding officer at the station Mr Cyril Abraham and Mr Emmanuel Quaye, the NDC Chairman of the constituency.
An indentified man was spotted with a copy of an original voters register and although the police retrieved the copy from him he managed to escape.
An explanation given by the constituency chairman that the man may have obtained the copy from the EC office did not go down well with the presiding officer.
At the Old Tetegu polling station in the Weija-Gbawe constituency in the Greater Accra Region, two men were arrested for invading the polling station.
According to the Presiding officer, Mr Clement Fordjour , they were arrested when they began to exchangeblows with some natives in their bid to question their identity.
The EC has divided most of the polling stations in A and B and some into A, B, C, D, and E and the Faith Christ Preparatory polling station in the Odododiodioo constituency in the Greater Accra was not an exception.
The polling station was divided into A,B, C and D and that caused a serious delay in start of the polls.
Only 209 out of voters 3600 from the four divisions had cast their vote as at 10: am
Kenneth O. ADADE reports from the Dome/Kwabenya Constituency that voting commenced without any major challenges at the various polling stations in the Dome-Kwabenya Constituency in the Ga East Municipal District of the Greater Accra Region.
It was a generally peaceful and calm atmosphere with cordial collaboration between all stakeholders thus the Electoral Commission officers, political party agents and the security services.
However, the busy commercial centre at Dome was surprisingly quiet without any busy commercial activities around the Dome market and its environs.
At the Church of Pentecost polling station at Dome Number 3 the Presiding Officer (PO), Madam Olivia Adigbli told The Finder that there were five polling centre at her station.
She said about 934 registered voters were expected to vote at her polling station and about 1030hrs when the reporter arrived, about 210 registered voters had cast their vote.
At the Kwabenya DC Primary School, the PO, Mr Felix Konu said there was eight polling centres at the area with about 761 were expected to vote but at the time of our visit, about 162 voters had cast their vote with 159 voters passed through the biometric device while three were verified manually.
He said there was 17 transferred list with no proxy or special voting list.
The PO commended the political parties polling agents for their comportment and collaboration with his officials.
The Novelty Academy polling station at Ashongman, the Presiding Officer Mr Samuel Owusu Boakye told our reporter that 582 voters were expected and at the time of our visit, 241 voters had voted.
He said there were 10 transfer voters with four special voters and 22 duplicated voters who could not vote.
The station had three political party agents thus the National Democratic Congress (NDC), New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the Convention People Party (CPP).
At the Madina Constituency, our first stop was at Madina Central Mosque polling station where they had three polling centres at the station.
About 816 voters were expected to vote and at the time of our visit, about 230 voters had cast their vote. The station had four transfer list with no proxy or special voting list.
The PO at Faith Community Baptist, Mr Harry Ampah was expecting 745 voters and 290 had voted at the time of our visit. 12 transfer lists were also at the polling station.
At Redco Primary A polling station, the Presiding Officer Prince Twum said 804 voters were expected to vote with 11 transfer list and as at the time of visit, 290 persons had cast their vote.
At the Church of Christ polling station in Adentan Constituency, voting went on generally smooth with just an incident of a voter who had her barcode mistakenly deactivated but with the consensus of all present, the voter was verified manually.
The Presiding Officer at the station, Mr Joseph Gyenti Sekyi said 610 voters were expected with 10 transfer list, three special voting and six absentees with four political party agents.
Other polling stations visited were the Presby Church Old Town, St Francis of Asisi Primary School and Firm Foundation polling station.
From Weija/Gbawe Constituency Isaac Aidoo reports that voting at a number of polling stations in the Weija/Gbawe constituency took off earnestly in the morning but slowed in the afternoon. Presiding officers admitted low voter turnout.
Interviews conducted by this paper with the officers of the polling stations dotted along the Mallam-Kasoa highway, however. revealed a smooth process devoid of hitches.
A visit to polling station A at the Startrite school under Bortianor Ngleshie Amanfrom revealed that total votes amounted to 554 out of 837 people expected to vote at the polling station A.
The Station B at the same polling station registered 417 voter turnout against 621 expected to vote.
As at 11:35 am, the Block Factory polling station A had recorded only 124 votes out of 800 expected to vote. Presiding Officer in charge of the station, Mr Rockson Asante was confident the number would increase as the day grew older.
Station B of the same polling station had at the same time recorded 256 voter turnout out of 625 expected to cast their ballots.
At the Believers Akwasa electoral area under the same constituency, the Presiding Officer at polling station B told The Finder that 13 persons could not find their names in the register and so were not allowed to vote.
According to him, their names were excluded from the register because they registered via the National Health Insurance Card. When this paper caught up with one of the affected persons, he pointed out that he had registered not with an NHIS card and so had contacted the Electoral Commission to restore his name into the register but it appeared officials of the commission had failed to do so.
At Station B of the Believers School polling station, the Presiding Officer, Mr Anthony Owusu-Ansah Afoakwa said out of 856 people expected to vote, 564 people had voted as at 4:40 pm, meaning that the remaining 292 people were expected to vote within 20 minutes.
At the Goil filling station at Bortianor, 262 people had not voted as at 5pm.
The polling station at the Ebenezer funeral Parlour had recorded 487 voters at at 4:23pm out of a total 778 voters expected to cast their ballots.
(By Daniel NONOR, ACCRA With Additional files from Isaac AIDOO Daniel ODURO, Kenneth O. ADADE & John Elliot HAGAN)