Low Turnout At Local Elections

The District Assembly and Unit Committee Elections held in almost every part of the country recorded low turnout.

Yesterday’s election would have witnessed greater enthusiasm had the referendum to open the door for political parties to sponsor candidate at the district level not been aborted.

Three weeks to the election, President Akufo-Addo was compelled to cancel the referendum, citing lack of consensus after the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) made a U-turn and started campaigning for a ‘No’ vote which was going to jeopardise the ‘Yes’ agenda.

The exercise went on smoothly without the usual confusion it usually generates during general elections.

The Electoral Commission (EC) scored high marks as voting materials arrived in the various polling stations on time for voting to commence.

The security situation was calm as there was no reported case of violence.

As early as 8 am, President Akufo-Addo and First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo were at the Kyebi New Town Rock of Ages ‘B’ Polling Station in the Akyem Abuakwa Municipality to cast their ballot.

His vice, Dr. Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, was also among the first to vote at 7:26 am at the Kperiga D/A School Polling Station in Walewale in the newly created North East Region.

All the leaders urged the electorate to exercise their franchise in fulfilment of their civic responsibilities.

According to the EC, some 57,000 candidates registered to contest the polls.

It said while 18,519 were vying to become assembly members, 38,520 contested as Unit Committee members.

Before the election commenced, there was news that a court in the Ashanti Region had put injunction on three electoral areas over issue of nomination.

The areas included Pankrono East Electoral Area in the Old Tafo Municipality, the Konongo New Town Electoral Area in the Asante Akyem Central Municipality and the Aunty B. Electoral Area in the Obuasi Municipality.

Assembly polls: Confusion rocks Trom over candidate positions on ballot paper

There was, however, some misunderstanding at two polling stations at Trom Electoral Area in the New Juaben South Municipality in the Eastern Region over the position of candidates on ballot papers.

One of the candidates, Ernest Afrifa, withdrew from the race few weeks to the polls. The EC gave an assurance that his name would not be on the ballot.  Therefore, the fourth candidate, Edward Brobbey-Gyasi, on the initial list was to be placed third automatically on the ballot but that was not done.

In the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis in the Western Region, the turnout was not encouraging as there were no queues in all polling stations visited.

At the Presbyterian School Polling Station in Takoradi, 835 people were expected to vote but 43 of them had cast their ballot when DAILY GUIDE visited the centre at about 10:42 am.

At the Etsewasae ‘A’ Polling Centre at Effiakuma, near Takoradi, the presiding officer said that the election stated at exactly 7 am and that only 7 out of 511 people had turned out to vote as of 8:30 am.

At Etsewase ‘B’, 712 eligible voters were expected to exercise their franchise, but as of 8:23 am, 11 people had voted.

At the New Ahenfie Polling Centre ‘A’ in Sekondi, the presiding officers stated that the turnout was not encouraging. Out of the 467 people expected to vote, only 32 had voted as of 10:15 am.

Out of the 413 people expected to vote at the New Ahenfie ‘B’ Polling Station also in Sekondi, 22 had turned out to exercise their franchise as of 10:20 am.

Some residents attributed the low attendance to the postponement or the withdrawal of the referendum.