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December 06, 2012

Ghana Electoral Body Ready to Administer Poll Friday

by Peter Clottey

The deputy chairman of Ghana’s Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) says the group is ready to administer the presidential, legislative and local elections Friday.
 
“Right from 2008, we set out our preparations towards this election, and everything has been on course,” said Kwadwo Sarfo-Kantanka. 
Ghana’s electoral law stipulates that INEC declare results of elections within 72 hours after the vote.
 
“This time round, with the sort of equipment and system that we have in place, we are of the view that within 48 hours the results would be out. But, definitely, within the 72 hours,” said Sarfo-Kantanka, who is in charge of INEC’s electoral operations.
 
 For the first time, the electoral commission introduced a biometric system to compile a voters list, which would be used for today’s vote.

Sarfo-Kantanka, says all of the polling stations across the country have the required equipment to administer the poll.

“Every [kind of] material is out in the field. In fact it’s one of those few occasions when we’ve been able to distribute our equipment well ahead of time. And so as at this morning that elections are starting, all of the [equipment] has been distributed long in advance,” he said.
 
Sarfo-Kantanka, predicted the election will be peaceful, transparent and credible. He said INEC officials worked closely with representatives of all political parties and security agencies to prevent any acts of violence and intimidation of voters during the run up to the election.
 
“As far as the things we have put in place are concerned, there should be no cause for alarm,” said Sarfo-Kantanka.  “We’ve had a lot of cooperation from the security agencies, the political parties, and everybody is assured that we are going to have a very nice [day],” said Sarfo-Kantanka.
 
Senior electoral officials have been inspecting the readiness of the poll administrators in the run up to the today’s vote. Sarfo-Kantanka visited polling stations in the Eastern region, while Kwadwo Afari-Djan, chairman of the electoral commission, visited those in the Volta region.
 
“We always want to be assured that in spite of what we have been hearing from the head office, we actually see what is on the ground and that is what we have been doing. And I think it pays to go around and see what is happening and that is what we did,” said Sarfo-Kantanka.
 
Sarfo-Kantanka said the electoral commission is adequately prepared to manage a successful balloting on Friday.
 
“The commission would tell all the voters that they should just exercise patience at the polling station, and just take their turn,” he said. “They should not rush. The machines are steady and we don’t expect that the machines will breakdown.
 
“We are very sure that by 5:00 [pm local time] we would have come out with a very successful election. There should be no fears at all about that.”
Clottey interview with Kwadwo Sarfo-Kantanka, electoral official