Voting is underway in the flag bearer race of the opposition National Democratic Congress.
Kweku Zurek reports that the Presiding Officer at the La Traditional Council, Hackman Kumi Atuah has expressed optimism that the NDC Presidential primaries will close at 5pm given the number of persons who have already voted.
According to Mr Kumi, 1,696 persons are expected to vote at the centre which has been divided into two polling stations.
“Looking at the way, they are coming, I am sure by five o’clock they should be done,” he said.
One of the seven aspirants for the NDC flag bearer slot Mr Sylvester Mensah is expected to vote at the station in the next few hours.
One of the aspirants Mr Sylvester Mensah questioned the fairness of the polls but insists he will still emerge winner when the results are announced later today.
Speaking in an interview shortly after voting at the La Dadekotopon polling station, Mr Mensah said he had received reports that a Member of Parliament of the Asuogyman Constituency has assembled voters and asked them to vote for a particular candidate.
“I think that this is not proper, let us introduce the best practice in whatever we do,” he said.
He said irrespective of the challenges he expected the outcome to reflect the true will of the people.
Mr Mensah also lamented the decision of the party not to provide transportation and food for delegates.
He said the aspirants were told that their hefty nomination fees would be used for feeding and transporting delegates but this was reversed only three days ago.
He said the use of the party structure by one candidate to disburse monies to delegates was evidence that the party structure was not impartial.
He, however, shied away from mentioning the name of the said candidate.
“I will get back to you on that, my brother it’s common knowledge,” he said.
At the Ledzorkuku Constituency where 2000 delegates are expected to vote, tempers flared over allegations that some persons were jumping the queue.
A queue of close to two hundred people have lined up under sweltering temperatures at the Ledzorkuku Northern Cluster of Schools compound.
Some persons in the queue have expressed their frustration to the EC officials about persons jumping to the front of the queues.
According to them, they may be forced to abandon the process of this continues.
Irrespective of the challenges observed by Graphic Online, the Presiding officer Mr Edward Opoku says they process which started at 7am is going smoothly.
He said initially, there was a mix-up in the names on the register but the agents of the candidates have signed an undertaking to rectify the mix-up.
Voting delays at Odododiodio
Gertrude Ankah Nyavi reports that there was a delay in the start of voting in the Odododiodio.
The exercise started at 7:45 am instead of 7 am.
Eric Okyere , presiding officer in an interview with Graphic Online blamed the party constituency executives for the delay.
According to him although the EC was on time, the constituency executives delayed in making the place ready.
But he assured that the delay will not affect the outcome of the exercise.
He said 1579 delegates are expected to cast their votes.
He added the the commission is collaborating with the police and the internal security of the Party to ensure a peaceful exercise.
He advised the delegates to follow the rules and regulations of the EC.
Over 100 delegates have casted their votes as of 8:30am.
Five police officers have been stationed at the poling station.
Timothy Gobah reports from Elmina that
polls opened at KEEA constituency at exactly 7am.
As of 7:15am 28 people including the MP for the area Samuel Atta Mills had cast thier votes.
Seth J. Bokpe reports that voting started at 7.30 am at the Unity Park in Trobu where two polling units have been opened.
In total, 1531 delegates are expected to vote.
As at 7.50 am, 20 people had voted.
Agents of the various candidates keeping eagle eyes on the process ticking off numbers as Electoral Commisison officials.
“Everything is moving on well. We started at on time.
There is no problem or whatsoever” Mr Solomon Acheampong who is representing, Mr Sylvester Mensah.
Mr Charles Kwao, who is an agent for Mr John Dramani Mahama said the process was peaceful.
The only candidates without agents here is Mr Ekow Spio Garbrah and Mr Nurudeen Iddrisu.
Four police officers are at the Centre.
Tempers however started to flare at the Unity Park in Tantra Hill in the Trobu Amasaman Constituency where there was a disagreement over whether delegates should vote individually or together as wards, Bokpe reports.
Some delegates who arrived early at the polling Centre insisted on voting and leave rather than waiting for members of their wards.
The situation resulted in the formation of parallel queues.
“They should just use the register, ask people about their wards and allow them to vote instead of insisting that we should vote by wards. Some of us came here early, we can’t wait for ward members that are not here, “ a delegates said.
As the grumbling increased, the Communications Director of the Trobu Constituency, Mr Famous Dzisam, stepped and asked that there should be a single queue for those present to vote individually and not as members of wards.
From the Madina Social Welfare polling station, Nana Konadu Agyeman, reports that as of 6.30 a.m., a number of voters had already gathered at the centre to cast their votes.
Though officials of the EC had already finished with the set up for voting, the 1,545 delegates from 168 branches in the Madina Constituency started casting their votes exactly at 7.17 a.m.
Prior to the commencement of the votes, a former NDC Member of Parliament for the Madina constituency, Alhaji Bukari Sorogho, advised the delegates to leave the polling station once they cast their votes to forestall any disturbances during the voting.
“There is no tension in voting and we only have to make sure that we have one person who will go and save Ghana.
“In order not to give chance to other people to come and cause confusion, everyone is advised to vote and leave the polling station and for counting purpose, one can come back and observe the counting,” he stated.
Benjamin Xornam Glover reported that at the Community eight number One polling station in the Tema Central constituency 65 voters have cast their ballot as at 8am.
A total of 910 delegates are expected to take part in the exercise. The polling station have been splitted into two to ensure a smooth voting process.
About five policemen were spotted providing security for the exercise.
Apart from candidate Nurudeen Iddrisu who has no agent at the voting centre as at the time of filing this repprt, the other six candidates have at least one agent observing the voting process.
Candidates Alban S.K. Bagbin was represented by one agent, John Dramani Mahama, three agents, Sylvester Mensah, one agent, Ekwow Spio-Garbrahm one agent, Goosie Tanoh one agent and Joshua Alabi, two agents
Daniel Kenu reports from Kumasi that some 46,322 voters across the Ashanti region have began converging at various polling stations to cast their ballots to elect one of seven presidential aspirants for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) ahead of the 2020 national elections in Ghana.
Generally, voting has been slow and peaceful in areas visited by Graphic Online reporters in the region.
Security has been tight following last week’s shooting incident which claimed one life at the party’s headquarters in Kumasi.
At the Subin constituency for instance, where 782 voters are expected to cast their ballots, only 20 have done so at the time the Graphic online team visited.
The Districts Electoral Officer, Hildegard Ofori Quarshie, said so far, polling agents for seven candidates have been very corporative and understanding.
The electoral college of the party was expanded recently to encouraged grassroot participation.
Emmanuel Adu-Gyamerah and Biiya Mukusah Ali reports from Sunyani that voting at the Sunyani East Constituency in the Presidential primary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) begun at the Presbyterian Cluster of Schools at 7.23 am.
Voting started slowly with just a few people trickling slowly to cast their votes early.
A total 1,548 people are expected to cast their votes.
They are expected to show either their national voters identity card r party identity card before they will be allowed to cast their votes.
Two voting booths have been created to ensure smooth voting.
As of 7.50 am only seven people had voted with just just about four people in a queue.
A loud speaker at the centre kept on warning party members to comply with the police directive warning them not to come to the centre with motorbikes.
Agents of former President John Mahama, Spio Garbrah, A.S.K Bagbin, Goosie Tanoh, and Sylvester Mensah were present when the Graphic Online visited the centre.
There were also personal from the Ghana Police Service present to ensure peace.
From the Abura St Lawrence School Shirley Asiedu-Addo reports that voting began at 7.28 am.
A total out of 80 out of the 753 expected voters had already cast their vote.
They include 720 branch executive 28 constituency executives and five special voters.
There were about 20 others in a queue waiting to cast their votes.
Voting was going on smoothly when the Daily Graphic got to the centre.
Agents for John Mahama, Ekwow Spio Garbrah, and Dr Alban Bagbin were present.
The Presiding officer at the centre, Mr Kofi Ampah said all materials for the election were available and that no incident had been recorded.
A total of 23,228 delegates will today cast their votes in the Central region at 23 polling centres.
They include 22,446 branch executives 644 constituency executives and 138 special voters made up of former government appointees.
Samuel Duodu reports from Tamale that about 26,000 delegates comprising of nine delegates each from the 2,688 branches, 28 constituency executives from each of the 31 constituencies, 21 regional executives and 230 former government appointees are to cast their votes in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Presidential primaries in the Northern Region today.
A regional executive committee member in the Northern Region, Mr. Rashid Tanko Computer who disclosed this in an interview with Graphic Online in Tamale this morning said all the needed logistics have been deployed to all the 31 constituencies in the Northern Region for voting to take place.
He stated that because of the security situation in Chereponi and Saboba constituencies following the Chokosis and Konkombas conflict two additional polling station have been created bringing the total number of polling stations where voting would take place to 33 instead of the 31 polling stations in each of the 31 constituencies.
He explained that the two additional polling stations created is to ensure that all the delegates in the Chereponi and Saboba constituencies cast their ballots by 3pm to ensure that no one was disenfranchised because of the 4pm to 7am curfew imposed on the two areas.
Meanwhile voting is currently underway in all the 31 constituencies in the Northern Region in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Presidential Primaries taken place nationwide.
Although two new regions have been created out of the existing Northern Region, namely North East and the Savannah Regions, the number of constituencies remained the same.
As at the time of filing this report at 8.24 am voting was underway in all the 31 constituency.
Former President John Dramani Mahama, who is seeking for re-election to lead the NDC in 2020 general election is also expected to cast his vote in the elections in the Bole Bambio constituency now in the Savannah region.
When Graphic Online visited the Kulikuli polling station in the Tamale Central constituency as at 8am voting was ongoing and 85 people have so far voted out of the 1,224 people on the voter’s register who are to vote at that polling station according to the presiding officer of the Kulikuli polling station.
Timothy Ngnenbe reports from Kpassa D/A Primary “B”, the polling center designated for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) presidential primaries in the Nkwanta-North constituency is bustling with activity as the eligible voters have formed long queues to decide who will lead the party into the 2020 elections.
As early as 7am, a long queue of voters comprising polling station executives and constituency officers of the party had already been formed at the voting center.
A total of 788 eligible voters which also include two former District Chief Executives (DCEs), a regional executive member from the constituency, and the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Mr John Oti Bless, are expected to cast their votes.
As of the time of filing this report at about 9am, 120 voters had already cast their vote.
A combined team of 10 personnel from the police and Ghana National Fire Service GNFS) are at the polling center to ensure that there is peace and order.
The returning officer of the Nkwanta-North District Electoral Commission (EC), Mr Albert Waja, is leading the team of electoral officers to conduct the elections.
Graphic online observed that unlike in previous elections where there were indiscriminate use of motor bikes around polling centers, the practice was absent, perhaps because of the directive given by the Ghana Police Service that motorbikes would not be countenanced during the exercise.
Also, the activities of heavily built men who parade polling centers in the name of protecting ballot boxes was absent.
So far, the agents of the seven aspirants who are seeking to lead the party into the 2020 elections have all expressed satisfaction with the proceedings at the voting center.
The Director of elections of the Nkwanta-North constituency of the NDC, Mr John Wulimaja, gave an assurance that every step would be taken to ensure that nothing untoward happened during and after the elections.
Meanwhile, the former DCEs, MP and regional executive member from the constituency are yet to cast their votes.
Voting in the Eastern Region started at exactly 7:00 a.m at New Juaben South and North.
The New Juaben South took place at the NDC Regional Office in Koforidua while that of New Juaben North was at the Hackman Community Centre at Oyoko.
In both centers, voting started at exactly 7:a.m.
Graphic Online’s Naa Lamiley Bentil reports that 1,219 delegates are expected to cast their ballot at the New Juaben South while 641 will cast theirs at New Juaben North.
A total of 1680 delegates are expected to vote in the New Juaben municipalities.
The Electoral Commission dispatched eight officers for New Juaben South and 4 New Juaben North.
The Municipal Electoral Officer, Madam Lydia Agyire, told the Graphic Online that the process had been smooth so far.
“ The Voter Register has been accurate. The voters find their details easily on the register.
The logistics for the elections; voter register, the ballot papers and other election materials are all in order.
The voting process has also been smooth so far”.
Dr Kweku Owusu Akyeampong, a former Municipal Chief Executive in New Juaben South and a government appointee walked in at about 9:15 a.m to cast his ballot.
He told the Graphic Online “So far so good. I just came but I have seen that there is peace. When I arrived I casted my ballot in less than a minute”, he said.
The process has been orderly so far. Delegates who had already cast their ballot at the New Juaben South for instance were seen chatting and exchanging pleasantries.
Some of them told this reporter that they were hopeful of their candidate wining at the end of the day.
About 29,000 voters are expected to cast their ballot in the the 33 constituencies.
Regional party executives are hopeful of a smooth and credible exercise to elect a candidate capable of wrestling political power from the governing NPP in the 2020 General Elections.
Zadok K Gyesi reporter that there is a heavy police presence at the Amasaman Cluster of Schools where two polling stations have been opened for voters taking part in the National Democratic Congress Presidential primaries in the Amasaman Constituency.
When Graphic Online visited the two polling stations at about 7:40am, there were more than 10 police officers, including senior officers at the two polling centres, observing the process.
The leader of the police officers who did not disclose his identity said there are enough police officers on the ground to ensure peaceful electoral process.
“We are on the ground to ensure that everything is in order,” the officer said.
Thousand two-hundred and sixty-four voters are expected to cast their ballot in the two polling stations in the Amasaman Constituency.
The Presiding Officer for the two polling stations, Mr Richard Wormenor, said voting started at 7:30am and that more than 30 people have so far cast their ballot.
He expressed optimism that the process will end peacefully and on time.
All the candidates have their polling agents stationed at the two polling stations. However, there were a few voters at the two stations.
more to follow…
Source: graphic online