Some Ghanaians Frustrated With Postponement of Run-off Election Results

Some Ghanaians are expressing frustration and disappointment after the chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission deferred declaring the winner of Sunday's election run-off citing no vote in one constituency.

Voters in Tain constituency in the Brong Ahafo region didn't vote last Sunday because the electoral commission postponed voting there citing difficulties in delivering electoral materials to the area. Commission chair Kojo Afari Djan said the difference in overall votes between the ruling New Patriotic Party and opposition National Democratic Congress is narrow. He added that results from the Tain constituency could determine which political party wins the run-off election.

Anna Tetteh is the communications director for the opposition NDC. She tells reporter Peter Clottey from Ghana's capital, Accra that the opposition is confident of victory.

"It is quite clear from the results so far declared by the electoral commissioner that professor Mills is in the lead. That notwithstanding, we have issues with some from the results in the Ashanti region because we believe that the figures are just inflated in such ways that are not possible. For instance how could you have in Bamtama constituency and Suame constituency and in Tafo constituency, voter turnout of 92 to 95 percent? I mean it doesn't happen anywhere in the world in a credible election," Tetteh pointed out.

She said the opposition NDC has evidence of voter irregularities in some of the ruling party strongholds.

"We have challenged these results by bringing the results from the polling stations. We think that after all of these have been gone through, we are in the lead and it would show that quite clearly professor Mills has won the election," she said.

Tetteh described as next to impossible for ruling party to win the Tain constituency election, which is to be held Friday.

"In order for the ruling party to win the presidency, they would have to win at least 30 thousand votes in Tain, and we would have to get zero. Whatever the outcome of the election in Tain whether we win or we lose we still believe that professor Mills is going to be in the lead and would be the next president," Tetteh noted.

She said the NDC is sure of victory on Friday.

"Assuming that professor Mills even had only 10 thousand votes and they manage to carry 20 thousand votes, professor Mills would still be the winner of this election. The only reason why the election is so close is because of the problems that have happened in the voting in the Ashanti region because Nana Addo has over a million votes, which is about 25 to 30 percent of the votes that we received from the Ashanti region. And we have said that there were a series of irregularities in the Ashanti region. That notwithstanding, professor Mills is still in the lead and we are quite confident that we will win this election," she said.

Meanwhile, the ruling party has condemned earlier media projections of an opposition win saying it is not yet over for the party ahead of Friday's special election.

Kwaku Baako, editor-in-chief of the Crusading Guide news paper tells reporter Peter Clottey that Ghanaians should be proud of their democratic process.

"I would concede that some Ghanaians as you said are let down or disappointed. There are some who in spite of the fact that there was not a declared winner for that matter we don't have a president-elect are still jubilating. So, there is a mixed reaction out there, but I believe that majority of Ghanaians would have loved even at the first ballot to have had a winner declared. How much more a second ballot without a winner? And I think this is unique and it is unprecedented," Baako pointed out.

He said tensions have significantly subsided after the chairman of the electoral commission explained to Ghanaians the next line of action.

"I believe that the results announced by the electoral commission will lead to relative reduction of tension. The NDC supporters and some of their leaders were crying foul suspecting that the electoral commission was about to rig the elections in favor of the incumbent party. Some people on the side of the incumbent party have said all sorts of things about having won. So, yes there was that level of mutual tension," he said.

Baako said the pendulum of victory could swing either way following Friday's special election.

"Interestingly, this is just restricted to one particular constituency in the Brong Ahafo region. I have heard a lot of people making all sorts of analysis. In the first round the NDC won that particular constituency, but why the electoral commission was unable to determine the winner today in spite of the fact that professor Mills led the ballot with some 23 thousand votes is that out there are 53 thousand voters who could change their minds or stand where they stand. So, technically, and theoretically there is no way the electoral commission could have determined a winner. Anything can happen in an election, but as to how they would go about it we don't know," Baako pointed out.

Meanwhile, out of the 229 constituencies, Prof Atta Mills of the main opposition NDC polled 4,501,466 representing 50.13 per cent of the total vote cast, with the ruling NPP polling 4,478,411 representing 49.87 per cent.

According to electoral commission records, the Tain constituency has a total of 52,890 voters. But with the results of the run-off election declared so for, the opposition NDC leads with just over 23 thousand votes. This has prompted some political analysts to say that the opposition stands a better chance of winning the Tain constituency after the NDC won over 50 percent of the votes cast in the December 7 general election. But the ruling party claimed it would leave no stone unturned to win adding that the party continue to preach its message of hope to the people in the Tain constituency in order for them to rally behind the party.

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