Ghana election 2016: Residents in and around Tema throng polling centres to vote

Voters in and around Tema thronged the various polling centres to exercise their franchise in the Presidential and Parliamentary elections on December 7.

As long queues coiled around the centres, expectation, anxiety and suspicion normally associated with most polls were at display.

The electoral set up, reporting time for electoral staff, party agents and time for voting to commence were largely on point.

TEMA EAST,WEST AND CENTRAL

Voting across all polling station in Sakumono, in the Tema West Constituency took off steadily with no infractions.

It was largely peaceful and conducted in a serenity as voters are seen in orderly queues to exercise their franchise.

The waiting lines had swelled up over the time and many more persons were expected to turn out at their respective polling stations to cast their votes.

No incidence had been recorded but voters have had challenges finding the right queues to vote.

The stakes going into the elections in this constituency are high as the voter population here is largely middle class.

Some voters the GNA spoke to expressed wide range of opinions and emotions as to what would inform their decisions to vote for a particular candidate.

Ms Beida Mohammed, resident of Sakumono, said she had waited rather anxiously for this moment to cast her vote, adding that the cost of living had become high and that would inform her decision.

At the Holy Child Nursery in Sakumono Estate, Polling Station ‘A’ where voting commenced at 07:45 hours, only 11 out of 983 registered voters had cast their votes.

Mr Ismael Annan Adoko, Presiding Officer, told the GNA the delay was as a result of voters finding themselves in wrong queues.

He said the situation had been normalised and voting was currently ongoing, adding that the high voter turnout was unsurprising for a middle class voter population like Sakumono comparable to the 2012 elections.

At the Sakumono Police Station polling, voting was seemingly slow as only 23 voters out of 744 registered voters had cast their ballots.

Security personnel stationed at the polling station had little work to do as voters conducted themselves in dignified manner.

Ms Jessica Coffie, the Presiding officer, said the voting started at 07:40 hours, adding that the parliamentary ballot box delayed and that accounted for the late start.

She expressed hope that voting would continue smoothly and peacefully without hitches.

As of 1120 hours, 210 persons out of 895 registered voters including two transfer voters had cast their ballots at the TMA primary school No. 1 at the Sakumono Village polling station.

Mr. Daniel Mortal, one of the Presiding Officers at the Tema Royal Preparatory School, in the Tema Central Constituency, said the polls were running smoothly.

As at 10am, when the GNA got to the cluster of polling stations, approximately 120 voters out of the estimated 605 registered voters had cast their votes.

He, however, observed that even though voting was supposed to start at exactly 7am t but the machine operator came about fifteen minutes late.

Again some of the polling assistants at the cluster of stations bemoaned their inability to get the accredited EC uniforms.

As such they sat behind their desks with mufti and looked different.

The situation at Mexico JSS cluster of stations was a good story to tell but for a delayed start of the process.

Voting finally started at about 8 am, but there was a generally peaceful conduct of proceedings, except for a voter who created a scene by attending to jump the queue.

It was observed that most of the polling stations within the Tema West and East Constituencies had issues with directions because there were no signs indicating which queue they should join.

The exception was the Star KG/Preparatory School polling station where there were clear notices directing voters to specific queues according to their names. Michael Fiakeye, one of the Presiding Officers at the cluster of stations, attested to the smooth running of the polls which he believed was also due to the well organized situation at their station.

Mr James Anu, the Parliamentary Candidate for the Tema West Constituency on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), equally observed the smooth running of the polls at the polling center.

“I have gone through the process; there were no hitches,” he said, adding that the situation would continue just as it had started.

Despite this beautiful picture painted, some voters at the Tema Parents and Salvation Army polling stations both in the Tema West Constituencies were embittered for not been allowed to enter the voting premises well after 8 am.

Mr Joseph Mensah, who claimed he woke up at dawn to queue, challenged EC officials who had allowed some persons to vote who were not in the queue.

“It is painful how we are stuck out there without knowing what is going on,” he mourned.

It later turned out that those who were allowed to vote first were the special voters who could not cast their votes during the special voting day and were to vote early in order to carry out their assignments.

The others, he accused, turned out to be the aged who could not possibly join the queue.

Similar disaffection was recorded among voters at the Sakumono Complex School Polling Station where some voters loudly protested against those special voters who had jumped the queue.

It was observed that most of the polling stations in Tema West were packed with voters as against Tema Central.

Mr. Godfred A. Anti, one of the Presiding Officers at VALCO Resource Centre polling station cluster, asserted that most of the voters were not around because they may be waiting for the pressure to come down.

Others areas visited which included the SDA polling stations, the Good Shepherd polling stations, all in the Tema West and East Constituencies, were generally peaceful.

NINGO PRAMPRAM

Prior to the commencement of voting at 0700 hours, some electorates at the Dawhenya Presby centre ‘B’ in the Ningo Prampram Constituency gave electoral officers and security officers positioned at the premises a tough time as they insisted the ballot box should be positioned at their preferred place.

They accused the officers who wanted to differentiate the Centre A from the Centre B of intentionally hiding the process in a corner against the norm.

The situation normalized when the EC officials and the security agreed to operate near the centre ‘A’ while electorates for both centres queued at one place.

The centre A had 824 registered voters on the register while the centre B had 788.

All polling assistants and party agents for the NPP and NDC were present at the polling centres as well as security personnel when voting started.

A number of voters were seen patiently queuing at the Dawhenya Methodist Primary School which has four centres, with centre ‘1A’ having a total of 827 on the register, ‘1B’, having 840, centres ‘2A’ and ‘2B’ also have 927 and 873 on the registers.

All centres visited have the tactile voting ballot to aid the visually impaired to vote, at the Dangme Local Council centre at Prampram.

Mr David Kojo Martey Botchway, a visually impaired person, expressed joy after he was helped to vote.

He however told the GNA that the centre was not too friendly to him.

A total of 60,009 electorates are expected to vote at 93 polling centres in the Ningo-Prampram constituency.

Kpone Katamanso

Prospective voters started queuing as early as 9pm on the 6th of December as many of them saw the sun rise to the special day.

Electoral materials arrived on time and voting started at 7:00am as scheduled.

The parliamentary seat is being contested by four candidates namely, the incumbent Joseph Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo (NDC)

Solomon Tettey Appiah (NPP) Stanley Edem Klem (PPP) and Pearl Akua Agyemang an independent candidate.

The constituency had 130 polling Stations and 94,042 names on the final voters register.

There were some pockets of misunderstandings in the Assemblies of God Church in the Nmlitsakpo electoral area in relation to how the screen for the voting was to be positioned.

The voters argued that the screen should face them to prevent any one from putting in any foreign materials.

Three voters were also not allowed to vote at the Church of Pentecost polling station in Sebrepor due to multiple registration.

They were asked to go to the District electoral office for the needed corrections to be made. GNA

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