News

    Ghana’s Ruling Party Pulls Out of Special Election After Failing to Restrain Electoral Commission

    Friday's special election in Tain Constituency, Ghana's Brong Ahafo region is expected to determine which of the two presidential candidates would succeed outgoing President John Kufuor. This comes after the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) failed in its bid to legally restrain the electoral commission from declaring the winner of Friday's special election and subsequently the next president of Ghana. The NPP also served notice to the electoral commission that it would not be participating in the Tain Constituency election, citing security concerns, which it claimed would significantly undermine the transparency of the election. But the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is encouraging its partisans to come out and vote. Bernard Morna is a leading member of the opposition People's National Convention, which stayed neutral during the December 28 run-off election. He tells reporter Peter Clottey that by citing security concerns, the ruling NPP was acting irresponsible.

    "I can tell you that the security acted so professional to my amazement that all of us were asked to come down from our vehicles, including the former President (Jerry Rawlings). The vehicles were searched thoroughly and we were personally searched so as to ensure that nobody went into Tain with any weaponry or with ballot papers," Morna noted.

    He said there were incidents, which indicated voter irregularities, but that those were professionally dealt with by the security agents there.

    "Indeed at the point of our entry (into Tain), we saw the former general secretary of the NPP whose car was searched and at that point we noticed that thumb printed ballot papers for Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufu-Addo the NPP flag bearer were found and they were taken out. And we are also informed that when the current president got to Wenchi (in the Brong Ahafo region), the Wenchi chief told him that the people of Tain were going to vote overwhelmingly for the NDC. And so the president should go back to Accra to prepare to hand over power to an NDC elected president. So, I am also encouraged by the professional manner the security agents are conducting themselves," he said.

    Morna described as irresponsible claims by NPP partisans of security intimidation.

    "I hold that to be a very preposterous and strange position coming from a party and a government. The ruling party that controls the security of this nation turns around to say the security if the nation is bad then that should be the reason for which the people should vote them out because they have shown gross incompetence and gross incapability of managing the security of the nation that you can't even assure the people of Ghana that the security of something they can rely on," Morna pointed out.

    He said it was unfortunate that the ruling party was complaining about the security situation when it is in total control of the country's security apparatus.

    "Let us not forget that the president is the head of the National Security Council and the president is the commander in chief of the armed forces. The vice president is the chairman of the Police Head Council and so in spite of all these they are telling us that the security of the nation is bad tells of the gross incompetence and incapability of this government. And that is the more reason why they should be voted out quickly," he said.

    Morna said the situation in the Tain Constituency is calm ahead of Friday's election contrary to claims by the ruling party.

    "It couldn't have been for security reasons that they (NPP) went to court. It wasn't for security reasons that Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufu-Addo did a press conference to assure the people that they were going to hold a campaign and that he was going to come. So, clearly the constituency is very safe. They can only spew out these because they know that on the ground they are not popular and that the wind of change that is coming will sweep them away," Morna noted.

    He described as unfortunate the cloud of instability the ruling party was trying to portray in the Tain constituency.

    "So at the end of the day they can only come and create perception, especially to the rest of the world that something bad was happening. We have all campaigned in this country and they contain the security of this country and at no point in time did we complain about security difficulties. Is it because they are meeting their waterloo today that they are claiming that security is not good for them? I still insist that if it is security that they are complaining about then it indicates that this government is highly incompetent to manage the affairs of this nation," he said.

    The electoral commission rescheduled Fridaay's election after it citied difficulties in getting election materials to the constituency in the December 28 election run-off.

    Friday's election is between Nana Akufu-Addo of the ruling NPP and Professor John Atta-Mills of the main opposition NDC. This comes after no candidate garner the over 50 percent minimum votes required to win the December seventh general election. Meanwhile the opposition NDC is ahead after the election run-off with 50.13 percent, while the ruling party trails with 49.87 percent.

    The spokesman for the ruling NPP, Arthur Kennedy said Thursday the situation in the western district of Tain was not conducive to hold a fair vote. He claimed partisans of the NPP were being intimidated. However there was no indication from the electoral commission whether it was going to stop Friday's vote because of the NPP claims.

    Some political analysts say it would be difficult for the ruling party to win Friday's election in Tain's constituency because the opposition won the constituency by over 50 percent of the votes. 

    Meanwhile, some Ghanaians are calling on the presidential candidate of the ruling NPP to concede defeat. This was further echoed by the only independent presidential candidate at the December seven general election. Kwesi Amoafo Yeboah has called on Nana Akufo-Addo to concede defeat in the interest of peace. He urged the NPP to be gracious in defeat adding that the majority of Ghanaians have shown that they prefer to have the presidential candidate of the main opposition NDC Professor John Atta-Mills Mills as their next president.


    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limitedi
    X
    Katie Arnold
    May 04, 2016 12:31 PM
    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora