News / Africa

Ghana Electoral Commission Works to Keep Polls Honest

Poster of Ghana presidential candidates. (Reuters)
Poster of Ghana presidential candidates. (Reuters)
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid