Ghana’s main opposition party asked the electoral commission on Tuesday to create a new voters’ register before next year’s election, after allegations of fraudulent registration overshadowed the West African nation’s last vote. The New Patriotic Party (NPP) said it had overwhelming evidence that the electoral roll used for polls in 2012 was bloated with ineligible voters, including the names of Togolese nationals. Togo is home to the Ewe ethnic group that is also found in southeastern Ghana, where its members are regarded as strong supporters of President John Mahama’s National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Political parties in the country have cast doubt on the Electoral Commission’s ability to implement reforms following the challenges which confronted the 2012 polls. The Commission has come under criticisms by some political for its inability to deal effectively with some of the problems that bedevilled the elections, that some argue, could have been avoided. Speaking to Joy News on the sidelines of a workshop to discuss proposals for electoral reforms, some representatives of the political parties say the EC cannot be trusted to effectively carry out the reforms. MP for Manhyia East, Dr Matthew Opoku Prepmeh, who spoke for the New Patriotic Party, observed experience has shown that the Commission is not amenable to change.
Chairman of Ghana’s Electoral Commission (EC) has told the Supreme Court in the ongoing election petition that the serial numbers embossed on electoral record papers (pink sheets) are irrelevant, and therefore, bear no significance to declared election results. The petitioners had claimed in their pleadings that duplication of serial numbers on pink sheets was one of the vehicles used by the president and the governing National Democratic Congress in collusion with the Electoral Commission to rig the 2012 elections. However, Dr. Afari-Gyan, on Monday, June 3, 2013 told the court during his evidence-in-chief that the serial numbers on the pink sheets have “absolutely no relevance to the compilation and declaration of results”. He maintained that “the pink sheets are distributed randomly”.
All the eight presidential candidates in Ghana’s December 7 election Tuesday signed what they called the Kumasi Declaration, pledging to avoid violence, impunity and injustices during and after the poll. The ceremony in Kumasi was witnessed by the Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood and the two former presidents, Jerry John Rawlings and John Kufuor, and the King of the Asante, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
The National Democratic Congress, or NDC, has been at the helm for four years now, after wrestling power from the New Patriotic Party, or NPP, in the 2008 general elections. NDC leader and interim President John Mahama is asking voters to choose him for president based on sound management of the economy under his party’s leadership. The former vice president became interim president in July, after the sudden death of President John Atta Mills. Amin Joseph is the ruling party’s secretary in the Ashanti Region. He said the NDC wants to retain the office to solidify economic gains.
There’s just 25 days to go before Ghana holds its hotly anticipated presidential and legislative elections, the nation’s sixth round of multi-party elections. The political environment could not be more polarised. Billboards are adorned with party colours of the main contenders and television and radio programmes are not only dominated by political debates, but campaign adverts air every few minutes. Street corners, taxis, bus stations, food stalls, places of work and worship have all become platforms for debate, especially in the midst of the series of IEA presidential debates, aired live on all the major television and radio stations. As a mark of Ghana’s maturing democracy, the 8 year-old daughter of a taxi driver has become an iconic figure in the election period, being dubbed a “peace ambassador” for her probing questions at the recent IEA debate, forcing accountability on the polity.
IT IS … days to election 2012. The anxiety of Ghanaians increase by the day, as the election approaches. Every day, the airwaves are filled with political discussions in both English and local languages. There are also individual discussions among various groups of people on different subjects of politics. The stakes in this year’s elections are very high because of the players involved. There are eight presidential candidates in the upcoming December 2012 elections, but the popular view is that there are two major contenders. They are President John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has accused the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the Electoral Commission of manipulating the ongoing voter biometric registration in certain parts of Accra to favour the ruling party. The Greater Accra NPP branch is alleging that new registration centres have been created in the region without their knowledge, “contrary to the agreed number of registration centres.”
Ghana: Electoral Commission says biometric register for 2012 election is coming on | Ghana Business News
The Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, has stated that the commission is vigorously going on with its processes of ensuring that it secures a biometric registration system for the 2012 general election. He said, with the court clearance for the commission to undertake its legitimate business, there was no let or hindrance on its part and that it was “continuing with the processes”.
However, the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the People”s National Convention (PNC) have raised red flags cautioning the EC that the path it was taking would compound the existing problems of double registration and voting and that as major stakeholders they believed the commission must tread cautiously and heed the caution.
The ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) has launched 2013 general election re-election bid y reminding supporters that it has no intention of going back to the pre-2008 period when the party was in opposition.
Newly elected chairman, Kenrick Fullerton, told the annual convention here on Sunday that “the message from the Grenadian people is clear, and we must hear them; that we must do better because going back to the wastage and mismanagement and national tension that existed before 2008, is not an option.