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07.12.2004 General News

Aliu votes and ask politicians to accept verdict

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Accra, Dec. 7, GNA - Vice President Aliu Mahama cast his vote at the Civil Service Training Centre Polling Station in the La-Koo Electoral Area on Tuesday and urged all contestants in the general election to be ready to accept the results in dignity in the interest of Ghana.

"We are fully aware of the conflicts in our neighbouring countries and their effect on the people so we must endeavour to accept the results in good faith no matter how it goes," he said.

In an interview with Journalists after casting his vote, Vice President Mahama said with the efforts made by the Electoral Commission, complemented by the Government, to ensure that the elections proceeded peacefully in a free, fair and transparent manner, he was optimistic that the process would be smooth and trouble-free.

"Our goal has been to normalise the electoral process to instil confidence in democracy and we have done our best to make sure it is credible."

He urged the electorate to turn out massively to vote in a peaceful manner and return to their polling centres after the close of polls to observe the counting process.

Asked how he assessed the chances of his Party, he expressed confidence that the New Patriotic Party would emerge victorious with a huge majority.

Looking very relaxed in a white "boubou" he told Journalists amidst smiles that the NPP Administration had done a yeoman's job during its tenure of office, therefore, he was hopeful that Ghanaians would give them the opportunity to carry on.

"I have never doubted that we will win and I believe that our votes would be massive because we have served Ghana well," he said. "I had a very deep sleep last night, having returned from Tamale during the day." He ended his month-long campaign tour of the three Northern Regions and the Northern Volta on Sunday and returned to Accra on Monday. The Vice President, accompanied by his wife, Hajia Ramatu, arrived at the polling station at 0850 hours

Voting at the centre, however, started at 0810 hours because voting materials and boxes arrived at 0755 hours. Mr Daniel Adama, who arrived at about 0400 hours, was the first voter.

Mr Sakyi Lartey, Presiding Officer, told the GNA in an interview that when he got to the Cantonments Police Station at 0500 hours to collect the pack, he was informed that it had been despatched with the rest of the materials for distribution.

"The prior arrangement, however, was that because the Centre is close to the station, ours would be excluded and sent directly to the station."

He said the pack was eventually retrieved from another station, hence the delay. He said 903 voters are registered to vote at the Polling Station.

Voting is proceeding peacefully and orderly after a brief confusion over the appropriate places to locate the booths and ballot boxes. Abednego Torto Laryea (NPP), Nii Amasa Namoale (NDC), Nii Adjetey Okang (CPP), Eric Osah Lartey (Independent) and Eric Kodi (Independent) are contesting the parliamentary seat for the Dadekotopon Constituency. The Grand Coalition did not field a candidate.

Security personnel and agents for the NPP, NDC and Mr Osah Lartey were at post, while some observers from the American Embassy visited the centre.

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