EC reschedules District, Unit Committee elections in eight regions

The Electoral Commission (EC) has rescheduled voting  in Unit Committee and District Assembly Elections in eight out of 10 regions,  because ballot papers for most of them for Tuesday’s vote (December 28) are not  ready.

A statement signed by K. Sarfo Kantanka, Deputy Chairman in charge of  Operations at the EC, on Monday said: “This arrangement has become necessary in  view of the fact that printing of ballot papers for some regions could not be  completed on time.”

Under the new arrangements, the elections in the Central and Upper West Regions would go ahead as planned on Tuesday, December, 28.

The Ashanti, Greater Accra, Volta, Northern, Brong Ahafo and Upper East regions would vote on Wednesday, December 29, 2010 while the Eastern and Western Regions would hold the elections on Thursday, December 30.

“Candidates and the electorate are to take note of the new arrangements and take the necessary steps to exercise their franchise on the scheduled dates.

“The Commission regrets any inconvenience the rescheduling may cause and calls for the co-operation of all stakeholders as it takes the necessary steps to ensure that the elections are conducted smoothly and peacefully to the benefit of all Ghanaians.”

Voters over the three days will choose District Assembly and Unit Committee members in elections that would constitute the political leadership at the grassroots level.

The elections are being held on a non-partisan basis, as specified in the 1992 Constitution, but it is common knowledge that the various political parties, especially the National Democratic Congress and New Patriotic party, are sponsoring candidates to influence decisions at district assemblies and unit committee levels.

In most instances, the colours of the posters indicate the political leaning of the candidate.

A total of 17,315 candidates are vying to be District Assembly members, according to statistics from the EC.

The statistics show that they are made up of 15,939 males (92.05 per cent) and 1,376 females (7.95 per cent).

On the Unit Committee Elections, a total of 45,762 candidates made up of 41,110 males (89.83 per cent) and 4,652 females (10.17 per cent) are contesting the vote.

The elections would be between 0700 hours and 1700 hours with the entire process taking place in the open view of the public.

Agents of candidates would be allowed at polling stations to observe proceedings.

The National Electoral Security Task Force (NESTF) says more than 30,000 security personnel would be deployed to police the elections.

“The security deployment is to ensure the maintenance of law and order, protection of life and property and to deal professionally and firmly with any breaches of the peace and any implications before, during and after the polls,” Mr Mohammed Alhassan, Deputy Inspector General of Police, said last Monday at the inauguration of the task force in Accra.

“The NESTF is also mandated to adopt strategic and appropriate security measures to ensure orderliness and safety of electoral officials, electoral materials and the electorate,” he said.

NESTF is multi-disciplinary taskforce comprising the Ghana Armed Forces, Ghana Police Service, Ghana Fire Service, Ghana Prison Service, Ghana Immigration Service and other security operatives.

Mr Alhassan said the task force would also monitor and co-ordinate the activities of all sub-committees established by the National Task Force and liaise with all competent authorities to marshal all the needed human, material and financial resources for effective policing.

He charged the task force to work as a team to avoid issuance of conflicting directives, which often created loopholes in security operations.

Source: GNA

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