Counting of ballots at one of the polling stations
Counting of ballots at one of the polling stations

Kumawu by-election peaceful

The Kumawu by-election was largely peaceful with no major incident as the security measures put in place yielded the desired results.

 There was a heavy police presence within the constituency and the 75 polling stations where voting took place.

The Ghana Police Service, ahead of the election yesterday, stated that adequate police personnel had been deployed to Kumawu for the by-election.

Unlike that of the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election where some incidents of violence were recorded, the Kumawu by-polls passed off peacefully.

Observer views

The General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) National Communications Director, Richard Ahiagbah, who were among some of the bigwigs of both parties who were in the constituency to observe the election described it as largely peaceful.

Mr Asiedu Nketiah said the voter turn-out when compared with other by-elections was encouraging as such elections tended to record low voter turn-out.

Some claims of votes buying by some residents could not be substantiated as Mr Asiedu Nketiah, as well as an observer team from the Ghana Integrity Initiative in an interview, said he did not witness anything of that sort.

The British High Commissioner to Ghana, Harriet Thompson, who was also in the constituency to observe the polls, said that it was her first time witnessing an election in the country and described it as peaceful.  

The NPP Communications Director, Mr Ahiagbah, who was elated by the outcome of the polls with his party recording a resounding victory, said it was an indication of good signs for the NPP ahead of the 2024 general election.  

             • Some police personnel deployed receiving breifing from one of their superiors

Some police personnel deployed receiving breifing from one of their superiors 

Pink sheet

However, Kwadwo Baffoe Donkor reports that  the signing of a pink sheet by polling agents at a polling station earlier in the day was one of the minor incidents that were recorded but that did not affect the outcome of the polls as the timely intervention of the Electoral Commission (EC) settled the matter for voting to continue peacefully.

The incident arose following a claim by the NDC that its agents at one of the polling stations in the by-election were forced to sign the pink sheet forms.

The Ashanti Regional Director of the EC, Benjamin Banor-Bio, denied the claim by the NDC and explained that what happened was a mistake by the NPP agents at the polling station and that no one was forced to sign any form.

Mr Banor-Bio stated further that two types of pink sheets were to be signed by every agent at the polling station.

He said before the polls were opened the agents had to sign one section of the forms to acknowledge the number of ballots issued to the station and the number of voters.

Additionally, he said the agents also signed the forms after the ballots have been counted to indicate their presence at the counting.

According to him, what happened “was that after the agents signed the first portion, the Presiding Officer asked them to write their names on the other form and sign against their names after the close of polls”.

However, he said when the NPP agent wrote his name, he continued to sign his portion.

Mr Banor-Bio said when the EC’s attention was drawn to the issue, “We immediately replaced the pink sheet for them”.

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