Accra, Dec. 4, GNA - The "Special Voting" organised by the Electoral Commission (EC) to begin the 2004 Presidential and Parliamentary elections on Saturday has ended successfully.
Members of the Armed Forces, Police, Prisons, Customs, Excise and Preventive Services, Journalists, EC Officials and staff of essential services, who would be on duty on Tuesday, December 7, voted during the exercise.
Voting went on smoothly at the designated polling stations, which were mainly Police Stations with incredibly long queues in the early hours of voting during the visits by the Ghana News Agency.
The queues started as early as 0600 hours at most of the centres visited, which included, Tasano Police Station in the Okaikwei North Constituency, where about 150 voters were expected to cast their votes and Osu Police Station for the Korley Klottey Constituency, where an estimated 500 voters were expected.
The rest were Kaneshie Police Station for Okaikwei South Constituency with a population of 150 voters and the Korle Bu Police Station for Ablekuma South with a voter population of 605 voters.
Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, Chairman of the Electoral Commission, told the 7, when voting in the general election would have ended.
He said they would be transported to safe places for storage and opened only after the general population had voted on Tuesday. Four candidates supported by four political parties are contesting the presidential vote, while 952 parliamentary candidates are contesting for seats in 230 Legislature.
President John Agyekum Kufuor, who is standing on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), is seeking re-election.
He is being challenged by Professor John Evans Atta Mills of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr George Aguddey of the Convention People's Party (CPP) and Dr Edward Mahama, representing the Grand Coalition, comprising the People's National Convention (PNC), Every Ghanaian Living Everywhere (EGLE) Party and Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP).
Statistics made available to the GNA by the EC show that eight parties and independent candidates are contesting the Parliamentary Election.
The parties are the NPP, NDC, CPP, PNC, EGLE, National Reform Party (NRC), Democratic People's Party (DPP) and GCPP.
The NPP is contesting 226 seats, while the NDC is contesting 229 seats.
The CPP is contesting 173 seats, PNC 125, DPP and EGLE 30 seats each, GCPP 10 seats and NRP five seats
The Voters' Register has 10,288,382 eligible voters out of a population of 18.9 million Ghanaians.