News / Africa

Ghana Electoral Commission Works to Keep Polls Honest

Poster of Ghana presidential candidates. (Reuters)
Poster of Ghana presidential candidates. (Reuters)
Joana Mantey
The Electoral Commission of Ghana says all registered voter will be allowed to cast their ballots during general elections on December 7.  But critics argue that some may be prevented from voting because of a flawed law passed by parliament that created 45 new constituencies. 

The EC is mandated by parliament to create new constituencies if needed to ensure the people are properly represented in parliament.

However, some argue a new law passed by parliament could do the opposite.
Critics say it eliminates some polling stations within the new constituencies, meaning some voters living in those areas will likely have trouble casting their ballots. 
Electoral officials says that will not be the case.

Christian Owusu Pare, the Electoral Commission’s acting director of public affairs said “every constituency is made up of a certain number of polling stations.  All the people in the constituency have the right and are entitled to vote in that constituency”.

There are also efforts to keep the elections honest.

Out of a population of 24 million, about 14 million Ghanaians are eligible to vote.  And for the very first time, the country is adopting the biometric system of voting.  The government says the technology includes computers, fingerprint scanners and digital cameras to help identify each voter.

Owusu-Pare says all polling stations in the country will have adequate equipment for biometric verification.  And he said Ghana has back-up equipment.

"Since 1992," he said, "the commission has always been able to meet all the deadlines and ensure that all the materials are available for voting. We are not going to falter in that regard.”

Competing candidates and polling agents have been issued guidelines on proper conduct, including warnings against the use of inflammatory speech. Owusu-Pare said all political parties are free to campaign across the country, but he warned against multiple voting.

“The punishment is clear," he said. "You know it goes with either a fine or imprisonment or both.  People can be imprisoned if they violate the electoral rules.  The objective is [an] incident-free election so people can exercise their franchise in an atmosphere devoid of intimidation”

In Ghana, ballots are counted and results declared at polling stations in the full view of party agents. Mike Ocquaye with the New Patriotic Party said it is important that practice continues.

“The EC," he said, "must ensure that they put in a fair system, the votes are counted, collated properly, the results are declared at the polling station.  Then when they get to the strong room everything goes on accordingly."

Election observers will include a coalition from Ghana, the regional bloc ECOWAS and the United Nations. The European Union says it will not be part of the monitoring process because Ghana is capable of organizing free, fair, transparent and credible elections without the involvement of the international community.

Listen to a report on new voting constituencies in Ghana
Listen to a report on new voting constituencies in Ghanai
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes More

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.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More