Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo on Monday named lawyer and governance specialist Jean Mensa to head the national electoral commission, dismaying the main opposition party which said Mensa was an unsuitable choice. She replaces Charlotte Osei who was fired by Akufo-Addo last month for “misbehaviour and incompetence,” relating to alleged breaches of Ghanaian procurement laws. Osei denied the accusation. Until her appointment, announced by the presidency, Mensa headed the Accra-based Institute of Economic Affairs think-tank, organisers of presidential debates ahead of general elections in Ghana. The West African nation, a major commodity exporter, will hold elections in December 2020, a vote that is likely to be a close contest between Akufo-Addo’s New Patriotic Party and the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Articles about voting issues in the Republic of Ghana.
The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Charlotte Osei has said that that commission has not expended monies it accrued from the replacement of voter IDs for Ghanaians ahead of the 2016 December elections. According to her, the EC made over GH¢2.5 million from the replacement process and more than GH¢42,000 cedis from the sale of media accreditation cards. Answering an urgent question filed by the Member of Parliament for Subin, Eugene Antwi on how much the Commission accrued from the process and how it was spent, Charlotte Osei said all monies were currently in the Commission’s account at GCB Bank.
Ghana: Elections Marred by Attempt to Hack Website and Calls for the President to Concede | Foreign Policy
Ghana’s presidential elections Wednesday started off surprisingly well, with voters lining up hours early at some polling places — using stones to save their place in line — and congratulations pouring in from the (real) U.S. Embassy in Ghana. Fears of election-day violence and confusion seemed misplaced. Then it all came apart. First, the electoral commission’s website was victim to a hack attempt. Also, an image circulating on Twitter said that the New Patriotic Party’s Nana Akufo-Addo had won the day, forcing the commission to frantically tweet for voters to ignore the fake news. Though votes were still being counted Thursday, the Akufo-Addo camp announced Thursday that, according to its tabulations, Akufo-Addo did in fact have a strong lead. They called for the incumbent, President John Mahama, who’s been in power since 2012, to concede. That didn’t sit well. Mahama’s camp called the calls for concession “treasonable.”
Ghanaians began lining up at polling stations before dawn on Wednesday to elect their next president as the west African nation hopes to reaffirm its reputation as a model of democracy on the continent. Despite concerns about the credibility of the elections, voter enthusiasm has been high. The race is expected to be tight between the incumbent president, John Dramani Mahama, and the opposition leader, Nana Akufo-Addo. “We need change in Ghana because things are very difficult,” said Stephen Antwi Boasiako, a taxi driver in the capital, Accra, who said he could barely afford the taxes and insurance for his vehicle. “This country has a lot of resources that can provide good jobs, but they are not used. I blame the Mahama government 100%.”
Hackers have targeted the website of Ghana’s electoral commission as votes are counted after tightly contested elections.
The commission says the website is up again, but it it is currently blank. The commission has tweeted, urging people to ignore “fake results” circulating on social media. President John Mahama is facing a strong challenge from main opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo in a campaign dominated by Ghana’s faltering economy. Wednesday’s election passed off peacefully, but voting was postponed to Thursday in one constituency after voting material failed to arrive on time.
Ghana’s electoral commission has assured the public that everything is in place for the December 7 general elections scheduled to begin at 0700 GMT. 15,712,499 registered voters are expected to vote for seven presidential candidates and 1,158 parliamentary candidates at 28,992 polling stations nationwide on Wednesday. “Barring any unforeseen circumstances, we expect election materials to arrive early at all polling stations and we expect the polls to open at exactly 7am and close at 5pm. If you are in the queue at 5pm, you will be allowed to vote no matter how long it takes,” Charlotte Osei, chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Ghana announced on Tuesday evening.
Ghana will tomorrow go to the polls to elect another President and 275 Parliamentarians to administer the affairs of the country for the next four years. About 15million voters, out of the 27million population are said to have registered for the election, which observers believe, is the most “tension-soaked” in the history of the 59 year-old West African country. Ghana runs a uni-cameral legislature. Since 1992 when Flt. Lt. Jerry Rawlings handed over power to Mr. John Agyekum Kuffour, there have been peaceful transitions of power between the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the largest opposition party, New Patriotic Party (NPP). Rawlings ruled for 11 years as Military Head of State after which he shed his military uniform, formed the NDC and contested as its flag bearer, won and ruled for eight years of two terms each before his party lost to Kuffour in 2000.
The Electoral Commission of Ghana has begun approving local and international poll observer groups to monitor the December 7 presidential and legislative elections. The electoral commission, however, says groups affiliated with political parties would not be allowed to monitor the polls. The criteria that poll observer groups must meet before their applications are considered include the name of the poll monitoring group, the leadership and composition of the group and their experience in election observation together with their passport pictures as well as their contact information. “We have received a number of applications to observe the elections in the country,” said Eric Dzakpasu, spokesman for the electoral commission. The commission has also received a number of applications from local and international observers, as well as foreign missions and embassies, he added.
Three Ghanaian opposition candidates who were disqualified from running in next month’s presidential and parliamentary elections say they are concerned the vote is unlikely to be fair or credible. Edward Mahama of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Papa Kwesi Nduom of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) and former first lady Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings of the National Democratic Party (NDP) voiced their concerns about the December 7 vote recently in a joint statement. They blamed the Electoral Commission for what they called poor prevailing conditions that could undermine the integrity of the polls. “If the rules of the game can be twisted and turned by the referee as and when it pleases, can we then say that the elections will be free and fair, when we do not know what illegal steps will be taken in the process leading up to the elections? Some of our parliamentary candidates have been disqualified without due process,” they said.
The Electoral Commission of Ghana, after a week of successfully completing balloting for the seven qualified presidential candidates in the upcoming elections, have invited their representatives to witness the commencement of printing ballots and testament of polls forms. The printing was delayed because of lawsuits against the Electoral Commission and its Chairperson. Confirming details to Citi FM in Accra, acting General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr. John Boadu, mentioned he would be present for the printing exercise so as to ensure transparency. “Over the years we have never witnessed the printing of pink sheets or blue sheets or statements of polls, both parliamentary and presidential. We all know the kind of difficulty we had in court where the Electoral Commission was finding it difficult to know the number of statement of polls that they printed,” he said.