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General News | Dec 7, 2004

News from The Polling Stations II

GNA

Tamale Voting is progressing peacefully and steadily at most polling stations in the Tamale Metropolis.

The long queues thinned out at a number of polling stations, while there are still voter line-up at some stations waiting to cast their ballot.

At some polling stations in the Tamale South constituencies, about half of registered voters had cast their votes as at 1330 hours while more than half of the registered voters had also voted at a few polling stations during the same period.

At the Tamale Metropolis, which had experienced a lull when voting opened at 0700 hours bounced back to life.

Commercial activities have resumed in parts of the metropolis with people moving about in the streets while vehicular movements are gradually building up. Accra Accra, Dec.7, GNA- Voting in the Okai Koi South Constituency on Tuesday was calm and peaceful at most of the polling stations visited by the Ghana News Agency (GNA).

Many voters today woke up at dawn to form queues at the Alunguntugu taxi rank, Bubiashie Ayigbe-Town, JVC and Cable and Wireless polling stations.

Electoral officials and materials arrived on time for the voting. At the Ayigbe-Town Polling Station, 28 out of the 1,055 registered voters had cast their votes by 0730 hours.

Mr Owiafe Harry Thompson, the Presiding Officer said voting was smooth and no problem had been encountered so far.

Two physically handicapped voters were among 400 out of the 1,934 voters who had cast their votes at the Kaneshie One and Four School Polling station "B" by 0925 hours.

Polling agents of the National Democratic Congress, the New Patriotic Party and the Convention Peoples' Party were present at all the polling stations the GNA visited. Awutu-Bawjiase Central Voting started peaceful and orderly in some polling stations in the Effutu and Awutu-Senya constituencies of the Awutu-Effutu-Senya District of the Central Region.

As early as 0530 hours, there were long queues at the various polling stations in the two constituencies the Ghana News Agency visited and in spite of this early morning cold weather, voters waited patiently for their turn to cast their votes.

Mr Joseph Attah-Dei, Presiding member of the District Council Primary School polling station of Ayegbe Town Electoral Area at Awutu Bawjiase in the Awutu-Senya consistency, told the Ghana News Agency that, there were about 200 people in line as early as 0600 hours, waiting for voting to start at 0700 hours.

At the Police Station at Kasoa in the Odupong Kpehe Electoral Area, where over 400 people had been in queue, since dawn, the presiding officer, Mr Augustine Mensah said that, of the total registered voters of 816, six persons including an 87-year old woman, Madam Janet Antwi had cast their votes as at 0704 hours.

Mr Alex Mankrah, presiding member of the District Council polling station of the Day Nursery Electoral Area at Senya Beraku, told the GNA that, 35 people including an 84-year-old, Madam Aba Kwawoma had cast their votes as at 0730 hours. The total registered voters were 731.

At Gyanagyanadze and Nsuekyir polling stations of the Effutu constituency, 112 out of the 400 and 106 out of 567 registered voters had cast their votes respectively as at 0840 hours.

Messrs Ato Bortsie and Sam Arthur said that between 0845 and 0855 hours, 191 out of the total registered voters of 1,171 and 201 of the 856 registered voters had exercised their franchise at the Obaatan Pa and Catholic polling stations of Bon Bosco Electoral Area in the Effutu constituency.

In all the visited polling stations only three parties, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), GCPP and the NDC had their representatives present. They told the GNA that everything was going on peaceful and openly, saying that, all the electoral materials and security were also in place.

Mr Nicholas Gasu, Winneba District Police Commander, who is the head of the District Electoral Task Force told the GNA during it rounds that, they had not recorded any incidence, adding that, everything was going on orderly and peacefully. Cape Coast Voting in the Presidential and Parliamentary elections took off smoothly in the Central Region, on Tuesday.

At all the polling stations visited by the GNA, the presiding officers, were happy about the situation, and the fact that, no problems have been encountered so far.

In Cape Coast and the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem districts, voters had turned out in their numbers at all the polling stations visited, with the station at the UCC auditorium, having more than 200 students and workers in the queue waiting to cast their ballots, when the GNA got there at 0940 hours.

The Presidi8ng Officer, Mr Benjamin Korsah said 436 of the 3,465 registered voters had so far cast their ballots.

At the Hill club polling station, 55 of the 238 expected to vote, had turned up to vote at 0802 hours, and Ms Margaret Oppong, the Presiding Officer said all materials for the exercise arrived on time, with the exception of the identification ink used for the stamping of the ballot papers.

She said as a result, the first 50 ballot papers could not be stamped when the voters came to cast their ballots.

Three hundred and fifty of the 637 voters had turned out to vote at the Legion Hall 'a' polling station, and 194 out of 705 at the Legion Hall 'b', when the GNA got to both stations at 0935 hours.

At the Local Council clinic at Komenda, 306 of the 650 voters had turned out to vote, while at the Traditional Council polling station, also at Komenda, 328 of the 630 voters had turned out to vote. Cape Coast Five voters with vision impairment, were among 142 of the 303 voters, who had turned out to cast their ballots at the Church of the Latter Day Saints polling station at Cape Coast, where the presiding officer, Mr Isaac Akuamoah, was also seen aiding some old women to cast their votes.

At Kissi, 451 voters of the 1,046 had turned out to vote at the Kissi West D/A Primary School polling station, as at 1100 hours, while 355 of the 580 voters had turned out at the Ayensudu D/A 'b' polling station at 1110 hours.

At Atabaadze, near Komenda 398 of the 795 voters had turned out by 1136 hours and at Esaaman near Elmina, 401 0f the 650 voters had tuned out at 1125 hours.

At the Providence House polling station at Elmina, 326 of the 471 and 580 of the 893 at the CPB polling station by 1145 hours. There were mostly polling agents of the NPP, NDC and CPP at all the stations visited, in addition to some observers and security personnel.

Almost all the polling stations visited by the GNA in the Assin North constituency started smoothly and exactly at 0700 hours. At 0630 hours, people had already queued at the various polling stations, awaiting the electoral officers for voting to take off. As at 0845 hours, 1,949 people out of 5,427 had voted at eight polling stations in the constituency.

Four blind persons of the 13 expected had cast their vote at three polling stations with assistance from their relatives.

At Juaso DA Primary at Assin Foso, the presiding officer, Mr Lawrence Kofi John Arthur said one blind person had voted at centre and that, 200 people of the 490 eligible voters had cast their votes by 1030 hours.

When contacted, Mr Samuel Owusu, the Electoral Officer for Assin North and South said the 13 expected blind people would be allowed to be assisted by their relatives because, according to them, they were not educated on how to use tactile ballot especially designed for the blind. At Fire Service Foso 'B' polling station, the presiding officer Thomas Duah said the turn out was encouraging and 427 people out of the 1,104 expected voters had cast their vote by 0945 hours.

He said four people, whose names did not appear in the register but presented their voting ID card were allowed to vote.

At Dompim Methodist Primary A, Mr George Essel, presiding officer said they have not encountered any problem so far and that 232 of the 637 voters had cast their votes.

At Methodist B polling station, the presiding officer Mr Emmanuel Badu Akomanin, also said all was well and 261 of the 645 voters had cast their vote as at 1020hours.

Mrs Mary William presiding officer of Juaso DA Primary 'A' said 201 of the 490 voters had cast their vote.

At OYESS Akwapim, Mrs Juliana Ama Kurang said two blind people voted with the assistance of their relatives and 223 of the 427 voters had cast their votes as at 1115 hours.

There were security and party agents at all the polling stations. The NDC, NPP, CPP agent at the various polling stations who expressed satisfaction with the voting process said, they have not encountered any problem so far. Akim Oda - Eastern Voting in the Presidential and Parliamentary elections in the Akim Oda and Akim Swedru constituencies of the Eastern Region are going on smoothly.

At the Akim Oda Nkwatanum Estate polling station, 128 out of a total of 692 registered voters had voted as at 0815 hours, while at the Kyeremin No. 1 "A": polling station, 134 out of 513 registered voters had cast their voters as at 0830 hours.

At Annou "A" polling station, 144 out of 501 voters had exercised their franchise as at 0830 hours, while at the Kyeremin No One "B", 95 out of 326 voters had voted as at 0835 hours.

At Annou "B" polling station, 161 out of 530 registered voters had cast their ballots as at 0835 hours, while at the Kyeremin No. Two "A" polling station, 93 out of the 396 voters had voted as at 0835 hours.

At Kyeremin No. Two polling station, 161 out of 620 registered voters had voted as at 0850 hours, while at Birim Primary "A" polling station, 134 out of 436 voters had cast their votes as at 0855 hours. At Birim Primary "B" polling station, 107 out of 370 registered voters had exercised their franchise as at 0857 hours, while at Akim Oda Nkwatanum "A" polling station 300 out of 1,111 registered voters had voted as at 0900 hours.

At that polling station, two people, whose names did not appear in the main register but had their names on the checklist, were allowed to vote.

At Nkwatanum "B" polling station 272 out of 861 registered voters had voted as at 0950 hours, while at Akim Oda Methodist JSS 350 out of 1040 registered voters had voted as at 1000 hours.

At Apostolic No One, 191 out of 427 voters had cast their ballots as at 1005 hours, while at Morning Star polling station 256 out of 575 registered voters cast their voted at 1015 hours.

In all the polling stations visited, both the NPP and NDC had agents monitoring the election, while the CPP and PNC had their agents in only a few polling stations. Tepa- Ash. Voting took off successfully and peacefully with no traces of violence and little cases of irregularities in the Ahafo-Ano North constituency.

Electoral materials meant for 31,697 voters were dispatched to all the 96 polling stations as early as 0430 hours.

At most of the polling centres visited by the GNA, such as Akwasiase Catholic Primary School, Mabang Zongo and Mabang Presbyterian Primary School, voting started around 0715 hours and though, there were no long queues, people were trickling in one by one at very short intervals to exercise their franchise.

Voting was very orderly at the centres with no cases of hindrances, intimidation or violence, an indication that if such a peaceful atmosphere continued to the close of polls this evening, this year's election would go down as one of the most peaceful in the country's history. Accra Mr Dan Botwe, General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), said the high turn out of voters throughout the country had heightened the party's hopes to win the polls.

"Reports reaching me from all over the country indicate that people have gone out in their numbers to vote and that is a healthy sign for us," he told the Ghana News Agency (GNA).

Mr Botwe was commenting on the general elections at the NPP headquarters in Accra.

He said the party's "dry wells would produce water", as the Northern, Upper East and West and Volta regions, once no go areas, would produce a lot for us."

"We are going all out. We have a few hours to start counting the votes and our successes."

He said their "well tutored polling agents" were expected to be polite but vigilant.

According to him, there had been reports of abuse and intimidation, but these were not widespread.

"We expect the police to handle those criminal issues. We are so far satisfied with what has transpired," Mr Botwe said.

Accra, Dec 7 GNA - At Ayawaso East and Central constituencies, Voters started queuing before 0600 hours and electoral materials arrived before voting started at 0700 at all the polling stations visited by the Ghana News Agency (GNA).

The stations were quite and calm with the security officers, party agents, polling officers and the presiding officers working in relaxed mood.

Though there were long queues, by 1100 hours most of the polling stations were virtually empty. Students and Nursing mothers were allowed to vote without joining the queues.

A number of Presiding Officers at polling stations at Nungua in the Krowor Constituency solicited divine assistance to ensure smooth polls on Tuesday.

Some voters joined the officials joined the prayers that appealed to God to take absolute control before the whole process began to make it smooth, free and fair.

Mr Emmanuel Oko Anang, Presiding Officer at the Channel Five Polling Station, said it was prudent to recognise God as the creator to take control of the exercise.

Mr Abraham Laryea Odai, of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr Nii Oakley Quaye-Kumah, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Theophilus Boye Mensah, Convention People's Party (CPP), Mr Emmanuel Boyefio, an Independent Candidate and Mr Theophilus Tei Okunor, another Independent Candidate are contesting the parliamentary seat. The polls have so far been smooth without any major incident. Many of the voters queued or sat on benches in the open as they waited to exercise their franchise.

Mr Seth Otiriso Bortier, the first to cast his vote at the Channel Five Polling Station, which has 1048 registered voters, said he was there together with four others as early as 0200 hours, in order to vote and report to his workplace in Tema.

At the Christ Apostolic Church Polling Station, 41 voters had voted as at 0730 hours, while 52 out of the registered 1,503 voters had voted as at 0750 hours at the Nungua Secondary School Centre, where voters on benches formed a wormlike queue.

Two of the polling agents had not yet reported and according to Mr Stephen Gyampoh, the Presiding Officer, two students were asked to stand in for them.

Sixty-two of the registered 1113 had cast their votes at the Nii Larweh Local Authority Centre by 0807 hours. Mr Gershon Lamptey, the Presiding Officer said apart from the agent for Mr Tei Okunor, all the party agents were present, adding that security personnel quickly took care of a noisy drunk after allowing him to vote.

At the Adogon Last Stop Polling Station, Mr Joseph Martey Korley said 117 of the 1,042 registered voters had cast their votes as at 0827. Prophet Michael Sarfo, of the Open Heavens Mission, told the GNA that God had intervened to ensure peaceful elections.

He said it was a sacrifice to stand in the sun to cast one's votes, adding that the heat that characterised the campaign alerted Ghanaians to put in both material and spiritual measures to ensure peaceful polls. Mr Martin Obeng, the Presiding Officer at the Pentecost No 2 Assembly Polling Centre, asked parties to provide some identification for the their agents.

He said 202 out of 860 registered voters had voted as at 0940. The Presiding Officer at the Mandela School Polling Station, Mr Cephas Kutrakor said 314 out of the 763 registered voters had voted, and said the process had so far been peaceful and orderly.

He said one voter who had lost his voter ID card was allowed to vote upon identification of his particulars in the voters register. Of the 1148 registered voters, 358 had voted as at 1050 hours at the Hill Top Polling Station.

Mr Hope Logo said the Presiding Officer said the ballot papers for the Presidential polls were short of 50 at the beginning, and said he was hopeful the papers would be in before the close of the polls. Aflao Aflao, Dec 7, GNA - Voting which has started almost on time at polling centres in the Ketu North and South Constituencies in the Ketu District, was progressing orderly and peacefully. There were long queues of voters at almost all the centres including Timber Market, Aflagatigorme and Missionga at Aflao in the Ketu South Constituency about one-and-half hours before voting commenced at 0700 hours.

Electoral Commission officials at about 30 polling centres in both constituencies the GNA visited by 1100 hours, confirmed that they had received adequate ballot materials and on time. Security personnel and agents the NDC, CPP, and NPP with the exception of the PNC, which failed to field any agents, confirmed that there was order at the centres.

When the GNA visited polling centres in Dzodze, about half of registered voters had cast their votes by 1010 hours. Out of 750 registered voters at EP JSS "A" Centre, 359 voted, 337 out 740 registered voters voted at EP Primary Centre all in Dzodze by 0954 hours, leaving only few number of aspiring voters in the queues. There were long queues at Timber Market at Aflao by 1040 hours, where 347 out of 1531 voters had voted and out of 1648 voters at Preventive School at Aflao, 497 voted.

Avoeme polling centre in Ketu South and Dzodze areas in Ketu North, which witnessed clashes between NPP and NDC supporters, resulting in some injuries during their campaigns, were therefore considered flash points.

Police Chief Inspector Joseph Acquah in charge of the Dzodze Police Station and Mr Baba Moro, Assistant Superintendent of Police in charge of Crime at Aflao had both told the GNA that they did not received any complaint of any trouble and that there were no election-related arrests in the respective areas. 7 Dec 04

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