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04.04.2006 General News

All set for Tamale Central by-elections

By GNA

Tamale, April 4, GNA - All is set for the Tamale Central by-election slated for Tuesday with five persons, including two independent candidates contesting.

A total of 65,863 eligible voters would be casting their ballot in 83 polling centres while 800 security personnel would be deployed to ensure violent free elections, according to the authorities. Mr. Sylvester Kanyi, northern Regional Director of the Electoral Commission (EC) told the GNA in an interview on Monday that election materials were ready for all the polling centres and that voting was expected to start at 0700 hours and close at 1700 hours.

He said 34 voter educators had finished educating the electorate on how to properly vote and fold the ballot papers, a measure he added, would cut down on spoilt or rejected ballots.

He assured the electorate that there would be no shortage of election materials.

On Sunday, the last day of open campaign, contesting parties organised rallies at separate locations within the Electoral Area to win the electorate's sympathy to vote for them.

The leadership of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), led by former President Rawlings and Prof. John Evans Atta Mills thronged the Tamale Metropolis on Sunday to rally support for the NDC candidate Mr. Inusah Fuseini to win the seat.

They all advised the electorate to comport themselves during and after the by-election to ensure peace and unity among the people of Dagbon.

The Convention People's Party (CPP) candidate, Alhassan Basharu Dabali, who is seen as a threat to the NDC also in a rally at Moshie Zongo on Sunday stressed the need for peace, unity and togetherness in Dagbon and that CPP's supporters should not do anything bad to dint the image of the party.

Prof. Wayo Seini, one of the independent candidates told the GNA in an interview that his campaign message had always been the issue of peace.

He said there was going to be only one winner in Tuesday's by-elections and appealed to losers to accept the results in the interest of peace.

Mr. Ahmed Adbul-Rahim, the other independent candidate and Ms Rita Adams Rukaya the candidate for the Democratic People's Party (DPP) had also embarked on a house-to-house campaign on Sunday asking the electorate to vote for them.

The Metropolis on Monday morning remained calm with people going about their normal businesses waiting for Tuesday morning to go and cast their ballot.

Meanwhile Alhaji Abubakar Saddique Boniface, Northern Regional Minister has appealed to all the contesting parties and candidates as well as the electorate to ensure that the Tuesday's elections were peaceful.

He said the elections would be a test on Dagbon to find out whether the people have embraced peace or not and that a "Successful elections on Tuesday would be a victory for the whole of Dagbon but not Tamale Central alone".

He appealed to the electorate to respect the principle of "vote and leave the scene" and come back after 1700 hours for the results. Alhaji Boniface said the Northern Regional Security Council (RESEC) in collaboration with the Ghana Police Service would provide maximum security at all polling centres to ensure violent free elections.

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