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30.08.2005 Politics

Odododiodoo: Tight security at polling stations

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Accra, Aug. 30, GNA - The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Patrick Acheampong has lived up to his promise to deploy substantial numbers of Policemen and Policewomen to nip in the bud efforts to foment trouble before, during and after the Odododiodoo Constituency Bye-election.

When the Ghana News Agency visited a number of polling stations in the constituency between 0530 and 0630 hours on Tuesday, four Police personnel three in uniform and one in mufti were at post at each of the stations.

At the Old Ga Mantse Palace Polling Station some women were busy preparing the polling station for voting to begin.

Ms Odokor Lamptey, a voter, said they insisted that the ballot box should be placed in the middle of the street, which was tarred on the eve of the election, so that nobody could cheat.

The Presiding Officer at the Polling Station, Mr Daniel Nunoo said everything was ready and he was just waiting to start the voting by 0700 hours.

At the Gbese Mantse Palace Polling Station, the Presiding Officer Mr Zorin Annan said he was waiting for tables and chairs to be provided to enable him to mount the station. There were 14 voters in a queue by 0610 hours.

At Mojawe Polling Station a woman was sweeping the polling area in earnest while some voters waited patiently for her to finish before forming the queue. Mr Samuel MacNii Laryea, the Presiding Officer said he would mount the station as soon as the woman finished sweeping. 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.

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