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30.08.2005 Politics

Odododiodoo: Polls are underway

Odododiodoo:  Polls are underway

Voting began in the Odododiodoo Constituency in Accra at 0700 today amidst tight security to nip in the bud efforts to foment trouble during the election. The outcome of the bye-election will be known today at about 10:00pm. The Police Administration has deployed hundreds of police personnel in uniform and in plain clothes in line with the massive security operation promised by the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Patrick Acheampong. At least four policemen would be stationed at every polling station and more personnel in plain clothe across the constituency. Reliable Police source told the GNA that there would be more security personnel at volatile polling stations while officers of the Criminal Investigations Department would be asked to take video and camera shots across the constituency to identify would-be trouble makers. Beside the massive police presence, police with water cannons would be on a standby and others on horses would patrol the streets. The Police Administration had said it had reports that macho men were being mobilised from areas like Nima and Ashaiman to foment trouble in the constituency and that the police would deal drastically with any troublemakers and their mentors. There would be about 25 police vehicles on standby for any eventuality at any time during and after the polls. A crack Striking Force squad at Tema with special military training would also be on standby at the Police Headquarters. The EC said it is ready for the vote as all elections materials are available. Voters would elect a successor to the late Member of Parliament (MP), Mr Samuel Nii Ayi Mankattah of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) after a campaign marred by violence and acrimony. Some 81,643 registered voters would be casting their ballots at 116 polling stations to choose between one of four candidates - Jonathan Nii Tackie-Kommey (NDC), Christian Shanco-Bruce, Convention People's Party (CPP), Nii Issaka Collison-Cofie, Democratic People's Party (DPP) and Asafoatse Sidney Mankattah, New Patriotic Party (NPP). Tension has been high in the constituency for several weeks leading to clashes between supporters of the two main parties, the NDC and NPP. This is the second by-election during the tenure of this Parliament. The first one was in Asawase in the Ashanti Region where the NDC retained its seat.