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.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs