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

    New EU Asylum Rules Could Boost Rightists

    New regulations will seek to correct EU failures in dealing with migrant crisis, most notably inability to get member states to absorb a total of 160,000 refugees

    More Political Turmoil Likely in Iraq as Iran Waits in the Wings

    Analysts warn that Tehran, even though it may not be engineering the Sadrist protests in Baghdad, is seeking to leverage its influence on its neighbor

    Forced Anal Testing Case to Appear Before Kenya Court

    Men challenge use of anal examinations to ‘prove homosexuality’; practice accomplishes nothing except to humiliate those subjected to them, according to Human Rights Watch

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Rulingi
    X
    May 03, 2016 5:16 PM
    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora