Ghana votes 2016: General Elections starts smoothly in the Western Region

Voting began smoothly in all the 26 constituencies in the Western Region with long winding queues at many of the polling stations.

The electorates are to elect the seventh President and parliamentarians in the Fourth Republic.

Some of the eligible voters got to their polling centre as early as 0500 hours to begin the queues.

At the Kwesimintsim Constituency Public Forum East “A” Polling Station, there were 697 voters on the voters’ register and voting started at 0704 hours with all the election materials available for the exercise.

As at 0715 hours six voters had cast their votes from those in the long queues, while older persons were given the opportunity to vote early without joining the queues.

The Presiding Officer, Madam Sabina Chapo, told the Ghana News Agency, that voting started smoothly without any hiccups.

At the Public Forum East “B”, voting started at 0722 hours with 657 voters on the voters’ register with two verification machines.

As at 0750 hours, 10 eligible voters had cast their ballots at the centre.

The Presiding Officer, Mr. Jake Ankumah, told the GNA that voting delayed a little because they were sorting the election materials and taking records.

Some prospective voters who were in the queue were heard arguing over who came first. That created a little chaotic scene, but the police officer calmed tempers and voting continued smoothly.

The two polling centres are located along a road therefore the electoral officers used red and white band to cordon the place, yet people were seen passing under the band and walk through the polling centres. That made the place crowded but surprisingly; the police officers assigned to the two centres looked unconcerned.

The GNA reporter however drew the attention of the Presiding Officers to the situation, which was later addressed when the Kwesiminstim District Police Commander, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Thomas Bayor, came around and upon observing the situation instructed the two female police officers to stop people from passing through the centres.

He also ordered the owner of a drinking spot located within the polling centres which was opened for business to close it.

Some political parties including the New Patriotic Party, the National Democratic Congress, the Progressive People’s Party and the Convention People’s Party had their polling agents at the centres.

In all, 1,579,749 voters were expected to vote in the Region in 2,941 polling stations.

At the St. Peters International School Polling Station “B” in the Kwesimintsim Constituency as at 0830hours 107 eligible voters out of 7,796 voters on the register had cast their ballots.
Madam Georgina Dorkenoo, the Presiding Officer said voting started at 0700hours with the presence of security personnel and Party Agents representing NPP, NDC and the PPP.

At the Kentan Essikado and Sekondi Constituencies voting started late due to the late arrival of electoral materials to most of the polling stations.

As of 0627hours when the GNA got to the Agric Camp Centre “A” and “B”, materials were yet to arrive.

Security personnel, polling agents and presiding officer were ready and had arranged the place awaiting the arrival of materials.

The situation was not different at the Ketan Methodist JHS. All the three polling stations with an estimated number of 1500 were yet to be ready for the exercise despite the long queues of anxious voters.

Mr. Ferguson Dzomeku, one of the presiding officers, told the GNA that at about 0644hours the materials had just arrived for sorting.

In the Sekondi Constituency, seven people had cast their ballots at the Well-Road Centre out of 800 eligible voters.

Mr. Samuel Annan, the Presiding Officer, told the GNA that the process started around 0701hours.

At the Komfoase Polling Centre, Mr. Samuel Acquaye, the Presiding Officer told the GNA that around 0725hours the team was still sorting the materials, hence the reason for the late start at the station where 866 were expected to vote.

Madam Comfort Amoah, a 65 year old woman who had queued since 0400hours could not hide her joy to vote for her preferred candidate at the Club 51 Polling Centre also in Sekondi.

Mr. Patrick Dimado, Presiding Officer for the Centre was seen busily sorting out materials to aid the process of which 705 voters were expected to cast their ballots.

Mr. Nii Adjetey, Presiding Officer at the Brigade Hall Essikado, said voting started on time and that 841 were to vote at that centre.

Meanwhile, Mr. Steve Opoku-Mensah, Western Regional Director of the EC, told the GNA that the Commission was prepared to ensure credible, successful and transparent process.

He was motivated by the high interest of electorates adding, “my rounds so far have shown some good and positive indicators of a successful process.”

At the Owusu Entertainment Centre at Shama Junction, 79 out of 560 had voted.

There was however no security at post as of 0912 when the GNA got there.

Mr Oscar Yawson, Presiding Officer at the Centre, said he had notified the EC about the security absence.

Madam Sandra Somhwe Aikins, Presiding Officer of Owusu Entertainment Centre “B”, said voting started around 0715 hours because party agents delayed in the inventory process.

The Centre has 566 voters on the register out of which 58 had voted around 0852 hours.

At the Assembly Forecourt Polling Centre 30 out of 504 eligible voters had voted as at 0740 hours.

At the Shama D.A Primary School 129 had voted out of 674 on the register.

Mr Frederick Abuaku, Presiding Officer, said materials arrived on time with party agents present. GNA

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