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

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

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