Saturday, December 27, 2008

Voting in Presidential Election Runoff begins

Voting started throughout Ghana at 0700 hours, Sunday, to elect the third President of the Fourth Republic   with long queues of voters waiting patiently to cast their votes.
     Polling officially ends at 1700 hours. All voters in queues before 1700 hours would be allowed to vote. The security details at the polling centres are expected to join the end of the queues when it is time to ensure that nobody joins it after the close of the polls.
     Counting would start at the polling centres after the last voter has cast his or her vote. The first results are expected late on Sunday night or early Monday morning. The Electoral Commission expects the result to be declared within 48 hours.
     Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), told Ghana News Agency that the voting procedures remained the same.
     "The voting pattern is transparent and at each point of the voting process there is an identifiable glaring system, which would make it impossible for any one to cheat.
     "The result of any polling station where the number of votes cast would exceed the number of registered voters and those who have lawfully transferred their votes would be cancelled."
     Dr Afari-Gyan urged Ghanaians, especially political party representatives, to avoid making wild allegations about imagined electoral fraud and suspicions and said the entire process would take place in the open view of the public.
     The EC Chairman said Presiding Officers in-charge of polling stations would inspect the ballot papers in the presence of the agents; enter the total number in a booklet; show the ballot boxes to the public to ascertain that they were empty and then place them in the open for voting.
     Dr Afari-Gyan said accredited local and international observers, journalists, national and regional executive members of contesting political parties, security personnel, contesting candidates and spouses and monitors were permitted to visit the polling stations.
     He advised all accredited officials to wear their prescribed identification tags – exhibiting their photograph, name, organisation and mandate.
     Dr Afari-Gyan reiterated that accredited EC officials were responsible for the conduct of the elections and were not subject to the dictates of anybody. They should, therefore, be allowed to work without unnecessary interference from any quarters.

No comments: