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07.12.2004 General News

News From The Polling Stations I

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Ghanaians turnout in their numbers Accra, Dec. 7, GNA - Voting in Election 2004 has been heavy as GNA reports from all over the country indicated more than 50 per cent turnout by midday.
At the Christ the King Polling Station of Dade Kotopon in the Greater Accra Region, Mr Philip Azumah, Presiding Officer told the GNA that 900 out of 1,216 voters on the register had exercised their franchise by 1600 hours. This represents 74 per cent turnout.
At the Flagstaff House Polling Centre of the east Ayawaso Constituency in Greater Accra Region Ms Faustina Afenyo, Presiding Officer said out of 341 voters on the register 281 representing 82.4 per cent had cast their vote by 1610 hours.
At the Amantra Polling Station of Klotey Korley Constituency also in the Greater Accra Region, the Presiding Officer, Ms Emma Asamoah said 652 voters out of the 800 on the register had voted by 1625 hours. This represents 81.5 per cent of the votes. Mampong Mampong (Ashanti) Dec. 7 GNA - Voting kicked- off at St. Pauls Local Authority Primary Polling Station at Mampong in the Sekyere West District of the Ashanti Region, with prayers for peaceful polls. Before the polls began at 0700 hrs, voters had formed long queues at the various polling stations, waiting patiently to elect their next President and member of parliament for the Constituency.
At the various polling stations visited by the Ghana News Agency, turnout was very impressive.
The Mamponghene, Daasebre Osei-Bonsu II, who exercised his franchise at the GWSC Polling Station Annex, told the GNA that he was happy with the turnout and the peaceful start of the General Election.
He was later accompanied by the Queen mother, Nana Agyakoma Difie and some traditional elders, to visit some polling stations in the town. He commended the chiefs and people of the traditional area for maintaining peace before and during the elections.
The District Chief Executive, Mr. Thomas Edward Atakorah said enough security had been put in place to forestall any violence. Accra The voter-turn out at polling stations the GNA visited within the newly created Abokobi-Madina Constituency and Dome Kwabenya Constituency was encouraging.
The presiding officers said they did not experience any major difficulty since voting began 0700n hours.
By 1400 hours, most of the polling stations had no queues with voters trickling in from time to time.
However, few polling stations such as the Moral International Preparatory School at Madina had long queues.
The Presiding Officer explained that the situation was probably due to the fact that a lot of voters registered there because it was close to the Central Market.
At the Ritz polling station, 764 voters out of 1,115 had voted, while at the Moral International Preparatory School out of 1,592 voters 762 voters had cast their vote.
At a Temporal booth (Akakpo-Dome) 1,112 voters out of 1,580 had voted. The long queue at the Lollard JSS polling station at Fadama, near Accra in the early hours of the day, thinned out, leaving polling officials virtually doing nothing.
As at 1200 hours, 439 out of the 575 voters had cast their votes. At the Apostolic "A" polling station at Nii Boye Town, 798 out of the 1,008 voters had cast their votes as at 1355 hours, while 1,006 out of 1,574 had voted at a Temporal Booth at Fish Pond as at 1445 hours. There was however a long queue of voters waiting for their turn to exercise their franchise. Konongo Nineteen people who had their voters Identity cards but could not find their names in the voters register were allowed to vote after the Presiding officer at the Konongo Methodist JSS polling station, had sought the opinion of all the party Agents.
Mr. Samuel Kofi, the Presiding Officer told the Ghana News Agency that the names of the 19 people were found in the provisional register and the check list that was why they were allowed to vote.
Kentekrom The long queues that characterized voting at the polling stations at Kentenkrono in the Oforikrom constituency this morning had virtually disappeared by mid-day.
At about 1345 hours when the GNA visited the two polling centers at Kentenkrono, only a small number of voters were found in short queues.
Mr Kwabena Sarfo and Mr Opoku Boadu, presiding officers for M/A primary one and two polling centers respectively, told the GNA that the low turn out that afternoon was simply because majority of them voted very early in the morning.
According to Mr Sarfo, out of the 1,065 registered voters at the centre, 660 had voted by 1330 hours.
On his part, Mr Boadu said 650 voters out of the 871 registered voters had cast their votes at the M/A primary two school, as at 1345 hours.
They commended the voters for their maturity and comporting themselves and also lauded the party agents for their co-operation. Only the NDC and NPP had their representatives at the centers. Kumasi Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene and nana Afua Kobi Serwaa Ampem, the Asantehemaa this morning cast their vote at the Manhyia Traditional Council polling station in the Manhyia constituency in Kumasi.
At exactly 1100 hours, Otumfuo and the Asantehemaa arrived at the polling station to exercise their franchise.
A large entourage, including Mr. Sampson Kwaku Boafo, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Nana Akwasi Agyemang, the former Chief Executive of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), Mr Samuel Yorke-Aidoo, Ashanti Regional Director of the Electoral Commission, some chiefs and a host of foreign and local journalists, witnessed the voting. By the time Otumfuo and the Asantehemaa voted, 350 people out of the 622 registered voters at the polling station had already voted.. Dr Kwame Addo-Kufuor, Minister of Defence and the incumbent Member of Parliament (MP) for Manhyia also cast his vote immediately after Asantehene and the Asantehemaa had voted at the Osei Asibey temporal booth polling station.
By the time Dr Addo-Kufuor voted at about 1115 hours, 420 out of the 624 registered voters at the polling station had exercised their franchise. Manso-Nkwanta There was an impressive turn out at all the polling centers in the Amansie West district when voting started at 0700 hours on Tuesday. At Manso-Nkwanta township where there are seven polling stations, the turn out was equally impressive as at the Anyinase polling station, 148 out of the 385 registered voters had cast their votes at 0930 hours. One hundred out of the 237 registered voters at Nsenkyire polling station had voted by 0945 hours while at the Ekoso polling centre, 74 out of the 186 registered voters had cast their votes at 0955 hours. Nana Bi-Kusi Appiah I, Omanhene of Manso-Nkwanta traditional area, was among the early voters at the Abronkase polling station. So far, there had not been any reported incidence in any of the polling stations. Nyinahim The presidential and parliamentary elections got underway at all polling centres in the Atwima-Mponua district at exactly 0700 hours without any hitches except at Bayerebon Number Five where all the electoral materials were there except the ballot papers for the presidential election.
This nearly raised panic but the situation was quickly remedied when the presidential ballot papers were dispatched from Nyinahin to the place.
Then at the Salem polling station at Nyinahin, there were no security and when the GNA enquired from Mr John Osei Bonsu, the presiding officer, he said the policeman who was supposed to be at the polling station was manning five other polling stations alone. As at 100 hours, about 2,000 people had voted at nine polling stations at Nyinahin. New Edubiase Polling took off successfully at all the polling centres at New Edubiase when voting started at exactly 0700 hours with Madam Mansa Anadle casting the first vote at the Methodist primary polling station. According to Madam Anadle, she came to the polling station around 0400 hours to be able to vote early so that she could go and continue with her work.
A tour of the polling centres at New Edubiase by the GNA showed that at the New Edubiase Secondary School One "B" polling station, 37 people out of the 316 registered voters had cast their votes by 0725 hours.
At the New Edubiase Secondary School Form Two centre, out of 482 registered voters, 36 had cast their votes by 0730 hours while at Amudurase polling station, 62 out of the 765 registered voters had cast their votes at 0735 hours and at the Atobiase L/A primary school, 35 voters out of 286 had cast their votes at 0755 hours. Kumasi Polling agents of the Convention People's Party (CPP) were conspicuously missing at some polling station in the Oforikrom constituency in Kumasi when voting started at 0700 hours.
The polling stations are Oforikrom and Ayigya Zongo where Mr Isaac Asamoah-Adusei, the presiding officer for Oforikrom Mixed School polling station told the GNA that even though they were expecting the CPP agents, they had not arrived at the start of voting.
He also bemoaned the absent of security personnel at the polling station at about 0930 hours and said even though the atmosphere generally was peaceful the presence of security personnel would go a long way to ensure that the voting went on successfully. Mr Asamoah-Adusei also hinted that as at that time the statement of poll was yet to arrive and that the declaration of results form were also in excess by 10 forms.
At the Oforikrom Mixed School polling centre, 100 out of 713 registered voters had cast their votes at 0845 hours, while at the Ayigya Zongo polling station, 10 people out of the 1,331 registered voters had voted by 0720 hours. Ejisu-Juaben Voting got underway in the Ejisu-Juaben district at 0700 hours without any hitches as all the election materials had been delivered at all the polling stations.
As early as about 0530 hours, there were long queues of voters anxious to cast their votes early.
Among the early voters were the Juabenhene, Nana Otuo Sereboe II and the Queen Mother.
Speaking to the GNA, Mrs Alberta Mensah-Bonsu, the District electoral Officer, said all election materials were dispatched to all the 153 polling stations by 1000 hours on Monday.
At some of the polling stations visited, both the NPP and the NDC had their polling agents but those of the CPP and PNC could be found only at a few polling stations.
At the Onwi district assembly primary school, Mame Afua Fofie, aged 89, who had come to cast her vote, told the GNA that she struggled to come and vote in order to give her grandchildren a better future and see the development of her village.
At Donaso, 70-year-old Mame Afua Serwaa who also came to cast her vote, expressed satisfaction with the peaceful atmosphere this year's election had witnessed.
She said, unlike previous elections, where people were intimidated and brutalized, there was now freedom of speech and that everybody can express his or her opinion without fear of being molested. Bekwai Voter turn-out in the early hours of voting in the Bekwai constituency was generally encouraging.
As at the end of the first two-and-half hours of voting, a total of 1,252 out of 3,174 registered voters in six polling centres had cast their ballots.
These are Bekwai Experimental JSS, Ahmadiyya primary, Methodist primary, Council Hall, SSNIT guesthouse and Bekwai Presby. The atmosphere at all the centers looked relaxed, orderly and peaceful.
Both electoral officers and party agents had not complained of any problems as all electoral materials were in place. Mr. Emmanuel Obeng, presiding officer at the Council Hall polling centre, said he was impressed by the enthusiasm of the voters. Mr Kwame Menlah, who is in his sixties, after casting his vote, said the manner the election had gone so far shows that "we are growing in democracy". Kwabre Figures made available after three-and-half hours of voting at the 32 polling centres in the Kwabre West constituency revealed that more than half of the 36,223 eligible voters had voted as at 1030 hours. At most of the polling centres, benches have been provided for the voters who are waiting to cast their votes in the presidential and parliamentary election, which started at 0700 hours.
At Agyarko-Buoho temporary booth, a total of 125 registered voters out of the 278 voters had voted.
Nana Osei Abrah, Pampaso Gyaasehene and nana Osei Kwadwo, Pampaso Krontihene who had travelled from Kumasi to vote, urged the Electoral Commission to move the temporary booth from the chief's palace to the primary school in the town.
At Kodie Methodist primary school, Mr Sylvester Kwaku Asenso, the presiding officer told the GNA that 310 out of the 579 eligible voters had voted and that the exercise was very encouraging.
Visits to the other polling stations at Aboabogya, Aduman, Akrowa, Nkukua-Buoho, Brofoyedru and Mowire indicated enthusiastic voters had cast their votes and were going about their normal duties.
There is no tension at the centres as the security personnel deployed to ensure peace and order are relaxed as the polling officials and party agents go about their duties. Agona Voting began smoothly in all the 180 polling stations in the Afigya-Sekyere East constituency.
As at 0730 hours when the GNA reached Agona, the constituency capital, long and meandering queues of anxious voters had been formed in several polling stations.
The constituency has 45,380 registered voters.
By 0735 hours, 75 out of the 750 registered voters at Agona community centre polling station had voted.
Seventy-three out of the 765 registered voters had also cast their votes at the nearby Presby primary school polling station.
At the Jamasi Tabre L/A Experimental School polling station, 123 out of the 807 registered voters had cast their votes as at 0800 hours. One hundred and fifty-four out of 745 voters in the Jamasi Presby primary school station had also cast their votes as at 0840 hours. One hundred and twenty-seven out of the 298 voters and 180 out of 418 registered voters had also cast their votes at the Jamasi R/C primary and KG school polling centers respectively at 0855 hours. At Bepoa United primary school polling centre, 200 out of 480 registered voters had voted as at 0900 hours.
Two hundred out of 763 registered voters and 100 out of 720 voters had already cast their votes at the L/A JSS One and Two respectively as at 0912 hours.
All the political party and candidates agents were present except the DPP whose agents were absent at all the polling stations. At Wiamose Muslim primary "B" polling station, 120 out of the 2,050 registered voters had cast their votes as at 0940 hours. At Adum-Nkaase polling station, 198 out of the 469 had already voted while 321 out of the 599 registered voters of Nkaase polling station had also voted as at 0950 hours.
Four registered voters who had lost their voters ID cards but found their names and pictures in the checklist were allowed to vote at the centre.
At the Salvation Army JSS polling station also in Wiamose, 223 out of 489 registered voters including one blind voter had cast their votes as at 0953 hours.
Two voters who could not find their ID cards but had their names and pictures in the register were also allowed to vote at the centre. Obuasi At the Obuasi municipality voting started on time following the early distribution of election materials throughout the 121 polling stations. In all, 85,513 eligible voters are expected to cast their votes. Enthusiastic voters started queuing by 0430 hours and by 0700 hours voting had started in earnest in all the poling stations peacefully.
Some of the polling stations the GNA visited included the Obuasi Wood Work polling centre, Salvation Army polling centre, Anglican primary Two, Obuasi Presbyterian primary "A" school, Presbyterian primary "B" and Old Council Hall "A".
Others are Old Council Hall "B", Circuit Court, Wawase magistrate court, temporary booth on the hospital road, Saint Joseph's Catholic primary school, Padmore JSS Number One, Padmore JSS Number Two and Kwabrafoso primary school.
At the Old Council Hall "B", the presiding officer, Mr George Appiah, said more than 50 voters had cast their votes by 0730 hours including a 75-year-old woman, Madam Amma Adoma. By 0830 hours at the temporary booth, Padmore JSS One and Two, the their relatives to vote.
The aged included 97-year-old Alhaji Mumuni, and 90-year-old Madam Adwoa Duah.
Mr Francis Addai Boateng, Obuasi Municipal Electoral Officer, who is also in-charge of Adansi North district, said he had been informed that the distribution of election materials at the Adansi-Asokwa constituency, including the Bodwesango zone had been done. He told the GNA at 0725 hours, "I am yet to get in touch with Fomena, but I am sure that things are going on well there". ---- An 80-year-old blind woman trudged her way to the district assembly Junior Secondary School polling station at Kuntanase and aided by a policeman cast her vote at the presidential and parliamentary elections.
Madam Afua Akomea, the blind woman, told the GNA that in spite of her predicament she came to vote because she wanted peace in the country.
Another 80-year-old woman, Madam Yaa Konadu was also led to the centre to cast her vote.
Voting started exactly at 0700 hours and among the early voters were Barima Gyeabour Adu-Gyamfi Poku, Kuntanasehene and Mr Adu-Gyamfi Poku, Member of Parliament for Bosomtwe.
By 0950 hours, out of 457 registered voters at the Kuntanase R/C primary school polling station, 162 had cast their votes while at the district assembly JSS, 153 voters had cast their votes. At the Abease temporary booth along the Lake Bosomtwe, voting started around 0730 hours due to the absence of parliamentary ballot papers.
This was brought to the attention of the district electoral officer, Mr Joseph Ofori Prempeh, who quickly rushed the parliamentary papers there.
At the Adumasa primary school polling centre, Dr Mathew Antwi, Deputy Minister of Environment and Science and MP for Atwima-Kwanwoma, cast his vote at about 0800 hours. Kadjebi (V/R) Voting was orderly at Kadjebi in the Akan constituency of the Volta Region.
Ms Augustina Ntiamoah, the Returning Officer said there was no problem about the voting. "Everything is quiet and peaceful," she said. Ms Ntiamoah said there were 28,625 registered voters in the constituency with 85 polling stations.
Mr Rashid Bawa, NPP candidate for the constituency, told the GNA that there was no problem in the constituency.
There was heavy turnout at Hohoe in the Hohoe North constituency in the Volta Region.
All the polling stations in the town saw long queues but voting was orderly.

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