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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.